Diversity & Inclusion
Seth believes that diverse teams drive better business outcomes, as proved by top academic and real-world research. As a leader in data and AI he has put diversity at the core of every initiatives he led: not only because it was (and still is) the right thing to do, but because there’s ample evidence that diversity drives business forward.
Seth advocates for responsible AI and inclusivity in tech: he is a board advisor for the network Women Leader in Data and AI, and a member of the board of the Responsible AI Institute. To support women in IBM, together with several senior female leaders, he cofounded the women’s diversity network, which we named GROW—Guidance, Resources, and Outreach for Women in IBM (GROW), to advocate for women.
Seth architected a new team in IBM working in data science and AI — the IBM Data Science and AI Elite Team— by adopting data-driven hiring strategies to ensure the team was highly diverse. With some colleagues, IBM HR Partner, and talent acquisition partner, Seth reevaluated the entire hiring cycle, from writing the job descriptions to making the candidate an offer. The main rule he established was not conducting interviews until we had a diverse pool of qualified candidates: an approach we drew confidence in from many studies and research in the field. Following these practices, he managed to minimize bias during the hiring process and created a diverse team of highly technical and highly talented individuals. The result of this innovative approach applied to the creation of a diverse team was even featured on Forbes as an example for other tech companies.
For Seth, a diverse and inclusive team is more than male versus female or black versus brown or white. It’s more than differences in sexual orientation, it also involves differences in backgrounds: socioeconomic, cultural, language, skills, training, cognitive processes… Seth strongly believes that diversity and inclusiveness foster innovation, and innovation generates concrete business results.
Growing Talents in AI
But diversity it’s not just about hiring diverse talents: it also involves establishing forward-thinking policies and processes to nurture and preserve diversity within an organization. With this belief, Seth has always been on the front line in driving numerous initiatives in IBM to support different communities and grow talents in data science. He initiated a change in IBM in the old fashion way of mentoring diverse communities: because mentoring is important, but it must be backed by sponsorship and advocacy. To retain and grow talents in data science Seth, as the executive sponsor of the IBM Data Science Profession Board, has worked to provide a clear career path for data scientists thru a skills-based assessment and qualification program inside IBM as well as externally via the OpenGroup. He is also the creator of the first-ever apprenticeship program in data science: with the program, Seth wanted to give people with zero background in this discipline the opportunity to learn high-demand skills and develop a career in tech.
Responsible & Fair AI
Seth advocates for trustable and responsible AI systems made for enhancing people's lives. His work at IBM has been largely focused on the development of solutions, technologies, and services that help overcome the inequality and harm that, too often, machine learning models and algorithms developed without a human-centered approach cause to people. Seth's efforts involve bringing the ethical principles around AI into practice by the implementation of technologies that, not only are trustworthy and responsible but that also help organizations monitor the AI's outcomes once the models are operationalized. By working at the intersection of business and AI, Seth's initiatives are defining a new vision for AI software and creating new ways to ensure continuous governance of AI models so to let people be in control of AI, not the other way around.