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Customer Service Gone Wrong

Women and People of Color Under-Represented in Technology Ads

TempA study published in Gender Issues analyzed video ads for technology products and services and found little diversity. The authors concluded that white men were most prevalent and women, people of color, older people, and children were missing or in lesser roles. 

The researchers also found that, when women were represented, they were portrayed as emotional or passive—not in control. In contrast, according to the authors, "technology itself is portrayed in masculinist terms—powerful, fast, strong, active—thereby reinforcing this association."

The results are interesting and perhaps a warning to technology companies who say they want to increase diversity among their employees. If companies want to boost the appeal of computer science degrees, they may look at how they present their products and services. 

Image source.

Discussion:

  • Do some research of your own. Watch a few technology product videos. Do you see what the authors found? 
  • Why do you think companies advertise their products and services in this way? Is it an oversight or intentional?