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The Internet Gets More Equal In Forsman & Bodenfors' Collaboration With Semcon


A new search engine aims to address the internet's gender imbalance

The Internet Gets More Equal In Forsman & Bodenfors' Collaboration With Semcon

Are all engineers men? Are all preschool teachers women? This is the stereotypical image you get if you perform an image search for different professions on the internet. Now a new browser extension called Re-Search is being launched, which gives men and women more equal space in the search results.

Swedish technology company Semcon is behind the solution, and they are making Re-Search available free of charge and as open source software.

When you perform an image search of professions with Re-Search, an alternative search is done in parallel to make the results more gender balanced. The alternative search results are presented in a new window where pictures that would otherwise end up further down are brought forward. “If engineers are portrayed as men in yellow helmets, how can young women feel that the job might be of interest to them? Role models are important when people are thinking about their career choices and the internet is the first place many people look for information,” says Anna Funke, Project Manager for Re-Search at Semcon.

Semcon’s aim is that the engineering profession will become attractive to a wider range of people. Many women work as engineers today, but they do not appear in search results. Re-Search was developed in order to provide a concrete solution to the problem, by giving a more balanced view of various professions. These include those that are dominated by both men and women on the internet. Re-Search is free and works with the most popular browsers. When it is launched, the solution will be able to manage 65 different professions in English. Re-Search is also available as open source software to encourage individuals and companies to develop the product further in more ways that stimulate a greater gender balance.

Increased gender balance is a priority area within Semcon and it is monitored with the same accuracy as the financial results. The goal is that Semcon meets the definition of a gender balanced company by 2022. This means having a male–female ratio between 40 and 60 percent throughout the Group. “This is a tough but necessary goal. Semcon develops products for everyone, which means that we need to bring in lots of different perspectives to better represent the end users, including more women. We also know that a more diverse mix of employees is essential to creating an inspiring workplace and a successful business,” says Markus Granlund, president and CEO of Semcon.


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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Government

Forsman & Bodenfors, Mon, 28 Nov 2016 17:43:56 GMT