Look up “greatest engineer” or “greatest painter.” What do you find? Very few women, if any. Now try “school girl.” You might be looking for images of young girls studying in class, but instead you’ll find heavily sexualized images of women in costume. Cultural stereotypes often distort women’s achievements and potential, and this is no different in search. In short, society has actually taught search engine algorithms to become biased. That’s why Pantene is introducing a new search tool, S.H.E. – Search. Human. Equalizer.
S.H.E. is a search tool that shows us what a more equal world could look like by removing the bias in search. Available via Chrome extension, S.H.E. operates on the search back end by filtering results to produce less biased and more balanced results, ultimately giving the women behind some of the world’s greatest accomplishments and transformations the visibility they deserve.
The introduction of S.H.E. comes as the first chapter of Pantene’s new “Power to Transform” campaign, which recognizes, celebrates and gives visibility to women who transform their lives and the world around them every day. For the past 20 years, Pantene has been working with Dr. Marianne LaFrance at Yale University to understand how people feel about their hair, how it affects happiness and even professional success. The most recent study found that a great hair day contributes significantly to positive feelings, including confidence, feeling happy and readiness to conquer the day. To sum it up – a great hair day has the potential to transform the way women feel and how they view the world.
“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.”
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.
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.
Starting in July, the brand’s “Power to Transform” campaign will spotlight women and the many ways they are transforming the world on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Pantene is committed to nurturing female-led transformations, through the announcement of a unique partnership with the Wing. The $1 million partnership will help fund female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses through a pitch investment competition, and provide a first-of-its kind mentorship program between Wing members and college-bound girls to help guide them through their own transformations.
See what a more equal world could look like by installing the Chrome extension and searching via S.H.E. – With every new click on an unbiased result, future search will become more equal as algorithms learn.
To learn more, visit shetransforms.us and join the conversation by using #PowerToTransform.