How data bias is making being a woman more dangerous with Caroline Criado Perez

Image credit: Rachel Louise Brown

“A lot of these tech solutions are driven by algorithms that have been trained on data that is hopelessly male biased and is severely lacking when it comes to female data. And the result of that is that a whole load of tech solutions for all sorts of things just don’t work very well for women.”
– Caroline Criado Perez, Author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Caroline Criado Perez is a writer, journalist and feminist campaigner. She has written two books: Do It Like A Woman and Invisible Women. In her most recent book Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men she describes how very old data bias can affect women today. In this episode, Sheana learns about the different ways data bias is affecting women today, from trivial things such as phone size to not so trivial things such as seat belt safety. Caroline tells all this and more in this episode of Innovation For All Podcast. 

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is male default thinking?
  • What are the consequences of male default thinking?
  • What are the consequences in tech?
  • Why the market is so bad at providing for women?
  • What is low hanging fruit for those of us who want to make money?
  • A stove example of male default thinking.
  • What can entrepreneurs and consumers do about these issues?

Links and mentions:

Connect With Caroline:

Start fresh. How Propel and the Fresh EBT app is battling poverty.

We are interested in building software that fights poverty somehow. We know that poverty is complex and has many different components and can’t be solved with a single app, and that’s ok.” – Jimmy Chen, Founder and CEO of Propel

Jimmy Chen is the Founder and CEO of Propel, a software company that aims to fight poverty through technology. They are the creators of the Fresh EBT mobile app, which enables EBT cardholders to manage their benefits, save money through grocery coupons, and find jobs. Fresh EBT is used by over 2 million low-income Americans across the country. In this episode of Innovation For All Podcast, Sheana learns why Jimmy decided to start Propel and use the tools of Silicon Valley to address social issues around poverty.   

In this episode you will learn: 

  • Why Jimmy Chen decided to focus on building tech for low income families
  • What is Propel and Fresh EBT 
  • Why start with the food stamp program to battle poverty
  • How does Propel get the experience and empathy to solve problems they might not understand
  • What is the process for getting usable information from users
  • What are the logistical and general obstacles faced by Propel and how are they overcome
  • What are some misconceptions about the food stamp program
  • Where else can the private sector make a difference and what are the challenges

Links and Mentions: