Go Back

Equality by Design: A Model for Managing Discriminatory Risks of AI

Mary Kay Supports New Set of Legal Standards on Equality by Design Pioneered by Equal Rights Trust

DALLAS, TX (February 15, 2024) – Since 2021, Mary Kay Inc. has partnered with the Equal Rights Trust (ERT), an organization whose mission is to advance equality through law around the world. As part of this collaboration, Mary Kay Inc. supported new research focused on understanding and addressing the discriminatory impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impacts on gender equality, and the development of a new “equality by design approach.”

The initiative culminated with the recent launch of a new set of legal standards – the Principles on Equality by Design in Algorithmic Decision-Making – developed by the Equal Rights Trust and endorsed by a group of leading international equality organizations. The Principles elaborate why national governments and businesses must adopt such an approach and provide detailed guidance for its implementation.

Jim Fitzgerald, Director of Equal Rights Trust just released an article highlighting the rapid advancements and transformative potential of artificial intelligence while also warning about adverse impacts and discriminatory threats unregulated algorithmic systems could pose.

  • Read Jim Fitzgerald’s article titled Equality by Design: A Model for Managing Discriminatory Risks of AI here.

Statements from Jim Fitzgerald, Director of Equal Rights Trust and Melinda Foster Sellers, Chief People Officer at Mary Kay Inc., can be found below:

  • “Over the last three years, Mary Kay has supported our research, analysis, and consultation on algorithmic discrimination, and enabled us to develop the Principles on Equality by Design,” said Jim Fitzgerald, Director of the Equal Rights Trust. “Now, Mary Kay is working with us as we move into the next phase: a collaborative effort to develop practical guidance for business on how to adopt the equality by design approach. In doing so, it is taking the next step in a journey which started with strong internal equality and non-discrimination policies, moved to collaboration with and support for us and other actors in this field, and is now focused on incubating and piloting best practice. In this journey, Mary Kay is helping to model how businesses can play an active role in developing improved approaches to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality.”
  • “At Mary Kay, we recognize the profound impact that AI has on shaping the future of business and society,” said Melinda Foster Sellers, Chief People Officer at Mary Kay Inc. “Our collaboration with Equal Rights Trust underscores our dedication to ensuring that technological advancements, especially in AI, champion gender equality. The impact of the Principles on Equality by Design in Algorithmic Decision-Making has already been transformative for key stakeholders in AI and echoes our commitment to helping create an inclusive digital economy where women entrepreneurs can excel without bias or barriers. This partnership reflects our enduring mission to empower women and promote equality in every sphere.”