Photo: Anna Funke of Semcon
While typing in a phrase like “engineer” in a typical search engine may reveal an image of a group of males, a new gender neutral search engine claims to be different. Semcon’s Re-Search service is said to offer a gender-balanced image search, avoiding common stereotypes as a result.
A free and open source feature that works with all browsers, Re-Search was created by engineers at Semcon, a Swedish technology company that focuses on product development in the automotive, energy and life science industries. The search engine strives to present images of various professions in a balanced light. For example, an image search for “doctor” or “pilot” will reveal pictures of both women and men.
While some professions may commonly be associated with a certain gender (such as female nurses or male investment bankers), Re-Search aims to correct this issue. With many emerging professionals choosing their career choice based on what they see in the media or through advertising, this feature wants to depict a more neutral representation. This way, diversity and gender equality can be clearly depicted through technology.
As a corporation, Semcon believes that diversity allows consumers to make more informed choices. This can be possible through more fair and equal products that are said to broaden perspectives. In fact, the company itself proudly supports a gender balanced workplace, and states that it will have a balanced staff by 2022. With a focus on developing equal male and female ratios, Semcon claims to be a diverse organization. Their objective in mind is an employee and management gender ratio between 40 to 60 percent.
With certain industries such as science, technology and engineering currently trying to become more attractive to female professionals, Re-Search just may play a helpful role. The next time you immediately think of a web developer as male, you just may want to think again- after all, equality at work just might be at our fingertips.