If you’ve ever searched for anything on the Internet, you’ve probably noticed that results produced by search engines are biased. Take a second to look up the top image results for “great hair” and you’ll see uniformly long, straight and shiny brown hair presented to you.
According to one study from Pew Research Center, only 10% of search results for “CEO” show women, even though women comprise 28% of all CEOs. And it doesn’t end there: they found that 57% of searches across 105 job categories underrepresented women in the results.
To correct this imbalance, Pantene has created a search engine extension called Search Human Equalizer (S.H.E.), out today, designed to produce more accurate and equitable search results. It works to remove the cultural stereotypes and personal biases that impact how content is tagged, described, captioned and clicked on, which then feeds into the algorithms that produce search results.
The initiative is part of the brand’s new “Power to Transform” campaign, which aims to give visibility to women and their achievements.
“The truth is women aren’t always visible, not even in something we do over 3.5 billion times per day: search,” says Ilaria Resta, vice president of hair care for North America at Procter & Gamble.
“Now search results for ‘greatest engineer’ will include women,” she adds. “And [results for] ‘school girl’ will show young girls in class instead of heavily sexualized costumes.”
S.H.E is currently available as a Chrome browser extension, and can be downloaded here.
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