Inclusio: Using ethical AI to realise diversity and inclusion at work

13 Mar 2023

CEO and co-founder Sandra Healy. Image: Inclusio

Founded in 2020, Inclusio is bringing a scientific and evidence-based approach to measuring diversity, equity and inclusion ‘through the voices of people’.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Or at least that’s what Sandra Healy thinks when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the modern workplace.

Two workplace buzzwords of our time, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are top of the agenda for many organisations trying to make themselves better places to work. However, as with all buzzwords, they can often become vacuous concepts without any way of measurement.

That’s where Inclusio steps in. One of the many lockdown start-ups, Inclusio was co-founded by CEO Healy in December 2020 to provide a platform for employers to track diversity, equity and inclusion performance within their organisations.

“We bring a scientific, evidence-based approach to measuring culture, diversity, equity and inclusion for employers … through the voices of people at work,” Healy, who is an organisational psychologist and NLP master practitioner by background, recently told

“Our platform was built to help organisations understand their people and build workplace cultures where everyone feels valued, respected and recognised.”

Building software ‘people love to use’

A global telecoms industry veteran, Healy spent five years at Dublin City University (DCU) where she established the Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion, a hub for research, advice and knowledge exchange on diversity and inclusion.

Faced with the many challenges of every D&I practitioner, Healy came up with the idea of Inclusio in 2015 and spun-out of DCU five years later. Her co-founders Deborah Murphy and Arthur Lubambo are both tech experts with extensive experience in scaling start-ups.

So how does one ‘measure’ an organisation’s diversity, equity and inclusion? Healy said the data is captured through “the voice of people” as they share their experiences of the culture in work.

“We describe Inclusio as an ethical AI platform. We set out to build software that people love to use and it looks and feels like software you’d use in your everyday life,” she explained.

This means that people get a chance to build what Healy calls their “diversity profile” in a confidential way and share their experience of what it’s like working within their teams.

“It’s simple. It’s engaging. It’s three to five minutes a day, and it’s based on behavioural science nudge,” she added. Nudge science in D&I involves the use of articles and videos to help people understand what it’s like to work for those who are different from themselves.

Inclusio claims to be able to bring a wealth of diversity, equity and inclusion data to companies within a month of implementation.

This is done by gathering more than 100 demographic data points and 400 metrics of inclusion and culture at work, and then presenting them in the form of an analytics dashboard.

“We want to get Inclusio into as many workplaces in the world, and to be the voice of people in work, helping employers build workplaces where people want to work,” Healy said.

Eyes beyond Ireland

And now, the Dogpatch Labs-based start-up is well on its way to achieving its goals with a diverse team of 35 which is set to grow. In January, Inclusio announced it is creating 80 new jobs over the next two years on the back of a major €6.2m investment led by Elkstone.

Spread across technology, sales and marketing, the new roles will help the DCU spin-out expand into new markets beyond Ireland, such as the UK and Canada, building on its existing customer base.

“We have a phenomenal team of people from many different parts of the world and are committed to the mission of the organisation of making difference count and having a global impact,” Healy said. “2023 is an exciting year for us as we move into new international markets.”

Last year, Inclusio launched VOICE (Valuing Openness, Inclusive Culture and Equity), a D&I benchmarking initiative to advance diversity and inclusion within specific sectors. The first of these, VOICE for Insurance, has already been deployed, with eyes on the banking sector next.

Before the seed investment, Healy said they had to bootstrap the business for 10 months while raising capital during lockdown. Now, Inclusio hopes to catch the eye of international investors so that it can move on from its successful seed round to Series A funding by next year.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic