Re-Search is an extension that automatically will make your image searches of different professions more gender balanced. By finding images that already exist and presenting them right alongside your original search result.
How does it work?
When you perform an image search for a profession, Re-Search automatically does a parallel search to gender balance the results. Both results are shown side by side.
This is just a first beta version, and we appreciate everyone’s help in adding more professions with stereotypical image results. You can also contribute directly with suggestions for improvements through our open source platform. Re-Search was developed by engineers at Semcon, for more information about how we worked to develop the product visit: Engineering behind.
It’s easy, just download the extension here and start searching. Currently only available in the Firefox browser.
Try it yourself
So far, Re-Search works for these professions in english:
Astronaut, Basketball player, Bodyguard, Bookkeeper, Bus driver, Cab driver, CEO, Childminder, Comedian, Dancer, Doctor, Electrician, Engineer, Farmer, Film director, Firefighter, Flight attendant, Florist, Football player, Game designer, Guitarist, Hairdresser, Investment banker, Judge, Librarian, Makeup-artist, Mechanic, Midwife, Model, Motocross rider, News anchor, Nurse, Nutritionist, Physicist, Pilot, Plumber, Police, Politician, President, Prime Minister, Professional athlete, Professional boxer, Professional cyclist, Professor, Receptionist, Secretary, Security guard, Soccer player, Social worker, Software developer, Stock broker, Surgeon, Tailor, Technician, Truck driver
… What about your profession?
Why does it matter?
When we choose a profession, our choices have already been narrowed down based on images we have seen in the media, advertising and popular culture.
With the internet, many of us hoped we would get access to a more diverse set of images of different professions, and there is no question that the non-stereotypical images are out there. The problem is that they don’t show up in the search results, unless you search for them specifically.
If we can present images of professions in a more balanced way to begin with, maybe we can take a first step towards better role models, images and balanced representation.
So why does all of this matter to us at Semcon?
It’s quite simple. To make the best products, we need to put people’s needs and behaviours first, and since half of the world’s population is female, we need more women choosing to become engineers. Without role models, we may not get there.
A movement growing stronger
Search engines and social media are powerful tools. But when they reinforce stereotypes, that power is not used in a way that promotes diversity and makes the world better. We at Semcon are not the first to notice this problem. Here are just some initiatives, ideas and presentations that deserve recognition: