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Are Algorithms Not Showing Equal Job Opportunities to Men and Women?

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Fight Against Sex and Gender Discrimination in Employment.

The days of searching the newspaper classifieds for open positions are long gone: potential employees now use sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and various social media platforms. But each one of the online job sites and social media sites are controlled by artificial intelligence-based algorithms. These algorithms ultimately control the specific jobs you will see when doing a search. There has been a question as to whether the algorithms are changing the results of job queries based upon the searcher’s gender. A new study by the University of Melbourne has shed some light on this real phenomenon in a report titled “Ethical Implications of AI Bias as a Result of Workforce Gender Imbalance.”

Women Are Not Being Shown Certain Job Ads and Listings

The data found in the study indicate that when job seekers use job sites and perform search queries, specific jobs will not be shown to job seekers who have identified as female. When male and female candidates perform the same job search query, specific high-paying jobs are shown to the male candidates but not the female candidates, even though the candidates have the same or similar qualifications.

This problem is most prevalent in high-paying technical jobs that have traditionally been male-dominated, which is believed to be one of the causes of biased AI algorithms. This can skew search results for women when they are performing searches for open positions in these industries.

Gender Bias in Algorithms Are Attributable to Humans

The gender bias that is found in AI algorithms are not caused by the algorithms themselves, but the gender bias that humans already have. Our own bias in encoded into the system due to the various datasets that the algorithms use. The University of Melbourne study found that human recruiters, on average, consistently rank female candidates lower in qualifications for finance jobs, technical jobs, and data analyst positions. The rankings were not even close to financial industry positions where female candidates were ranked four places lower than male candidates, even though each candidate presented with essentially the same qualifications on their resumes.

Surprisingly, the study also found that there was minimal difference in the rankings of candidates between male and female recruiters. So, it did not matter if the recruiter was male or female, they all consistently ranked women candidates lower than male candidates for jobs in certain industries.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. Fight Against Sex and Gender Discrimination in Employment

If you believe you have experienced discrimination in the workplace or in hiring practices, you need to contact a knowledgeable and skilled employment law attorney to get your questions answered. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, P.C. have decades of experience in successfully fighting for the rights of women and other protected classes that suffer from employment discrimination. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients in South Jersey and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.