Researchers at Carnegie Mellon determined that automatic advertising of high paying jobs is being sent to men more often than to women.
Much is made of the gap in pay between men and women in America, as well as the gap in advance opportunities.
Now, a new study shows what might be holding women back from making more money or advancing their careers.
A study performed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon determined that job advertisements for highly paid jobs are shown more often to men than to women.
Let’s start at the beginning. The Internet knows who you are. It knows whether you are male or female, young or old, cat or dog lover, that sort of thing. It just does.
Advertisers know that, too. They use algorithms that take the place of thinking, advertisements are made available to Internet users based on their perceived interests from websites they have visited.
The Carnegie Mellon researchers used an automated testing system called AdFisher and created more than 17,000 fictional jobseekers, divided equally between male and female. Those “jobseekers’’ visited numerous jobseeker sites, and in so doing were shown 600,000 advertisements which the researchers tracked.
While males were shown different ads than females, what was most striking was that “Males were shown ads encouraging the seeking of coaching services for high-paying jobs more than females,’’ the study authors noted.
The results from one study showed that a Google search displayed advertisements for a career coaching service for “$200k+” executive jobs to males more than 1,800 times, but females only got the same advertisements 318 times.
The researchers noted that the targeting system Google uses when displaying ads takes in many different factors, but the fake users each had blank search backgrounds and behaved in identical ways other than when gender was a necessary component of behavior.
In a story on the study, The Guardian asked Google to explain how the results could be so different, and a spokesperson said “Advertisers can choose to target the audience they want to reach, and we have policies that guide the type of interest-based ads that are allowed.”
“Male candidates getting more encouragement to seek coaching services for high-paying jobs could further the current gender pay gap,’’ the study authors noted. “Even if this decision was made solely for economic reasons, it would continued to be discrimination.”
Google users can determine the kinds of ads they see by changing their advertising settings. But the discrimination indicated in the study comes not as a result of anything the consumer is doing but from those doing the advertising.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.