Invisible Women - Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (2019)

Caroline Criado Perez

06 Jul 2020

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Study into how (mostly) unconcious biases in society mean that women are systematically left out of the everyday – e.g. smartphone sizes are designed for men’s hands making them awkwardly too large for women’s – as well as the important; medical research is mostly done on men’s bodies (the “standard male”) and this is meant to be representative of all humans.

Often jaw dropping, frequently disturbing. To say many of the issues discussed leave you surprised is now almost too ignorant to say once you’ve read this. It’s systematic how invisible women are in data. And this is not a historical study, rather a contemporanous one.

Most intriging for me was the chapter on transport planning. It occured to me that much of how we plan and model based on transport data is also possibly ignoring important differences that affect women. This is an issue as we are planning future states in our cities (up to 40 years from now, explicitly – longer implicitly). We may be baking in inequalities into our cities for generations to come.