Google Images lists Barbie as top female CEO

Occurred: April 2015

The first picture of a woman on Google Images for the search term 'CEO' is one of Barbie in a suit.

The finding was one of many made (pdf) by University of Washington and University of Maryland researchers that showed many image searches for specific occupations automatically favour men or women, thereby highlighting 'stereotype exaggeration and systematic underrepresentation of women in search results'.

Ironically, the image linked to an article in satirical news site The Onion that criticised US toy manufacturer Mattel for encouraging 'young girls to set impractical career goals'.

Operator: Alphabet/Google
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Rank search results
Technology: Search engine algorithm; Machine learning
Issue: Bias/discrimination - gender
Transparency: Governance; Black box

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