With the increase in many employers posting job applications online, more residents of Washington, D.C., and elsewhere are finding that they do not see the same job applications as their gender counterparts. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against any prospective employee based on their gender, but the practice still happens.
The initial problem
While employment law makes it illegal to discriminate due to gender, that doesn’t stop some individuals from doing so. Previously, online advertising networks allowed advertisers to pick the gender of the viewers who would see their ads. This allowed employers to market their job openings to specifically male or female viewers.
Marketing websites have now disabled the gender selection feature on their advertising software. This makes it impossible for those posting job advertisements to select which gender gets to see the advertisement. While one would think that the disabling of this feature would have curbed the problem, it hasn’t.
Algorithms are still gender-biased
Unfortunately, this action hasn’t allowed for the stopping of gender-biased behavior. Rather, multiple accredited research facilities are showing that employment listings are still having noticeable skews between the genders that see them. Researchers are blaming these skews on an unfair algorithm that decides what website users get to see which ads. The public is calling for more intervention by the website owners to create fairer algorithms.
As society continues to go through a digital revolution, it’s important to address these issues as they arise and right the wrongs. In regards to employment advertisement on online platforms, it’s important for government officials to ensure that adequate measures are taken to reduce the current gender discrimination. Employees who have been discriminated against may want to talk to an attorney about pursuing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for themselves and aid in the push for change.