In Marketing, Tech, Trend

P&G’s Pantene wants to eliminate gender bias from search results. As the first chapter in Pantene’s new “Power to Transform” campaign, the brand introduces S.H.E. – Search. Human. Equalizer.

Cultural stereotypes often distort women’s achievements and potential, and this is no different in search. In effect, society has actually taught search engine algorithms to become biased. S.H.E. is a search tool that shows us what a more equal world could look like by removing the bias in search.

According to a Pew Research Center Study, 57% of searches across 105 job categories underrepresented women in the results. Similarly, only 10% of search results for “CEO” depict women, despite women comprising 28% of the occupation. S.H.E. spotlights how cultural stereotypes and our own personal biases have impacted these results based on how online content is tagged, described, captioned, and clicked over time. S.H.E. operates on the search back end by filtering results to remove the bias and ensure a more equal and accurate representation of women.

“How one’s hair looks on any given day may seem like a trivial detail, but it is proven to have a direct impact on our transformative actions both big and small,” said Ilaria Resta, Vice President of Hair Care for North America at Procter & Gamble. “As a leading brand for women, we see the accomplishments and transformations women achieve daily, but the reality is in some ways female-led transformations are not visible. In fact, some of the most accomplished women aren’t even visible in something we do over 3.5 billion times per day: Search. That’s exactly why we created S.H.E.”

S.H.E. currently transforms over 150 of the most problematic search terms based on volume and relevance. Users can grow S.H.E.’s capabilities by submitting additional search terms for S.H.E. to transform via the Chrome extension available at shetransforms.us. With every new click on an unbiased result, future search will become more equal as algorithms learn.

Photo: via Pantene

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