Copenhagen-based Develop Diverse lands €2.5 million to fight unconscious bias

Danish AI software Develop Diverse has landed a funding round of around €2.5 million. The software has increased the number of female applicants of its customers by up to 80%.

Founded in 2017, Develop Diverse strives to help companies build diverse and inclusive workplaces. The team’s writing software supports biased-free writing by recognizing biased words and proposing inclusive alternatives. 

The company Develop Diverse has shown positive results in the fight against unconscious bias, as companies such as Vestas and Danske Bank recruit more diverse candidates.

Almost all companies nowadays want to improve diversity. This has been prioritized at board level, senior management and ultimately in the HR organization, where the benefits of having a diverse workforce are recognized. However, they have also found it difficult to attract women (among others) to their open positions across all leadership levels especially in the traditional STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). One major challenge is that people unknowingly write company descriptions and job postings aimed at the dominant gender and written towards the person who they expect would fulfil that role in a stereotypical narrative. 

With Develop Diverse’s specially-crafted software, it’s possible to replace individual stereotyped words with inclusive alternatives so the job posting appeals more broadly to all qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity etc.

Based on many years of international research and Machine Learning, Develop Diverse has developed a unique software solution that enables companies to optimize their language in job postings and employer branding to be more inclusive and remove unconscious bias around gender, age, ethnicity, neurodiversity, and physical disability.

The team’s impressive results have compelled Seed Capital to invest in the company. Managing partner Ulla Brockenhuus- Schack: “The diversity agenda is important to all of us. Jenifer Clausell-Tormos and her team have managed to create an easy-to-use and affordable solution that can remedy the problem and have created an impressive level of customer satisfaction. Now there are no more excuses! We’re happy to help build the next Danish growth company – created by a woman – which we also don’t see so often.”

Michael Halbye, previous senior partner at McKinsey & Co has also invested in the company and will be the Chairperson of the Board: “All companies today are very committed to creating an inclusive culture. All companies are also aware that they have to deal with many conscious and unconscious biases. Develop Diverse offers possibly the world’s most professional solution to help companies with (among other things) creating inclusive job postings. I look forward to helping more of the world’s leading companies benefit from Develop Diverse to promote diversity”

Jenifer Clausell-Tormos, PhD and CEO & Founder of Develop Diverse – former researcher in the pharmaceutical industry, said: “Our goal is that Develop Diverse is used by everyone in all communication channels. In this way, users will learn to communicate inclusively and become conscious of their own unconscious biases through the language they use daily. We’re unbelievably happy to have Seed Capital on board with us! We will invest in product development and the commercial part of the company so companies can use Develop Diverse both in external and internal communication in even more languages across Europe and the USA.”