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On Google Images, the most influential woman CEO is Barbie!

Fri, Apr 10, 2015, 02:39 PM
Washington, April 10 , 2015: Did you even notice how many female faces you see when you search for the word "CEO" in Google Images search? Try and the first woman CEO to appear is not the PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi or ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochchar but an animated figure named "CEO Barbie"!

The gender bias is clearly visible because women are significantly underrepresented in Google Image search results across all professions, reveal researchers from the University of Washington (UW).

"A number of the top images depicting women as construction workers are models in skimpy little costumes with a hard hat posing suggestively on a jackhammer. You get things that nobody would take as professional," said study co-author Cynthia Matuszek, assistant professor from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The study compared the percentages of women who appeared in the top 100 Google Images search results for different occupations - from bartender to chemist to welder.

In some jobs, the discrepancies were pronounced.

In a Google Images search for CEO, 11 percent of the people depicted were women, compared with 27 percent of the US CEOs who are women.

Twenty-five percent of people depicted in image search results for authors are women, compared with 56 percent of the actual US authors.

By contrast, 64 percent of the telemarketers depicted in image search results were female, while that occupation is evenly split between men and women.

Yet for nearly half of the professions - such as nurse practitioner (86 percent women), engineer (13 percent women), and pharmacist (54 percent women) -- those two numbers were within five percentage points.

"You need to know whether gender stereotyping in search image results actually shifts people's perceptions before you can say whether this is a problem. And, in fact, it does -- at least in the short term," explained co-author Sean Munson, assistant professor of human-centred design and engineering at UW.
Agency: IANS

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