A new study indicates that Google images may be reinforcing gender stereotypes in the work place.
As you can see in the above table, images for a certain profession often align with what people perceive to be prevalent jobs for a specific gender. If you were to, say, type the word “CEO” into Google Images, you would find only 11% of female CEOs represented in the results, as opposed to an actual 28% reported in the US Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey.
The study goes on to show that if you type the word “journalist,” females are underrepresented by 28% in the search results. When it comes to “bus drivers,” our minds typically conjure up a male image and Google Images represents that in its platform results. Women are underrepresented by 29% in comparison to US Labor Force Statistics data.
AdView analyzed United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data, along with the results of Google Image searches for a range of job roles.
Psychology dictates that we come to know and understand things based on what we are shown. It is perplexing to think that societal perceptions could be so influenced by a popular search engine – when we are not getting accurate representations from that popular search engine!
More astonishing is this fact: After the search giant’s most recent annual report was released, it was revealed that Google has had a mere 0.3% growth in the percentage of women employed since 2014.
The misrepresentation of genders within job roles on Google Images is particularly salient because between May 2017 and May 2018, Google held 87% of the search engine market share in the US.
The Most Underrepresented Roles for Females on Google images are:
Baker – females are underrepresented by 33% on Google Images
Bus Driver – females are underrepresented by 29% on Google Images
Journalist – females are underrepresented by 28% on Google Images
Hairdresser – females are underrepresented by 24% on Google Images
CEO – females are underrepresented by 17% on Google Images.