Exposing data bias & systemic inequality

26th August is observed as the Women’s Equality Day to raise awareness of women’s equality and the success they have achieved in various sectors. To commemorate the special day, I dedicated this month’s reading towards a book that breaks all beliefs on human history or existences. ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias In A World Designed For Men’ by Caroline Perez is a highly recommended book that touches upon a world built around data on men, ignoring the equally important section of the society – WOMEN.  The author believes that Big data that was corroborated basis on biased notion that men are superior to women and negates all achievements, experiences and needs of theirs are subjected to inequality and injustice based on inefficient and incorrectly interpreted data.

What does the book cover?

The book is an eye opener and amplifies the gender bias and systemic inequality related to gender data gap. Be in regular life or professional, in healthcare or safety.

The author asks a very relevant question – Why men and women are not treated equally? Why most of the key decisions be it at corporates or government is run by men? When we are designing a world that is meant to work for everyone we need women in the room. The argument is valid and well substantiated by the author with real life facts on human history or healthcare data evidences. The book covers life of women in daily life, workplace, design, healthcare and public life. The book takes you through a journey of emotions which is both of amazement and shock.  The stories narrated in the book highlight the indirect discrimination women have been facing owing to inadequate data or data that is not interpreted correctly.

Three takeways or points to ponder

  • The author has discussed underlying issues related to gender inequalities and have also offered a relatable solution without being judgmental
  • The evidences are well researched and presented for the readers to understand the nuance, while addressing issues from different genres and areas (History to science)  g. Viking skeleton ‘ Birka warrior’ Urinal, Gender Neutral with Urinals, One Size Fits Men
  • Collection and Interpretation of Data -What matters is how we collect and interpret data, currently the system has a bias , its primarily male focused unless specified (human body) and completely ignores the other half of the population.

What’s in it for me?

Being a woman, I was quite overwhelmed with how the world perceives or ignores us or our needs. The thought provoking content of the book lingers with you and makes you wonder how invisible you are to the world. Perez has the knack to hold the reader’s attention with gripping narrative and knowledgeable insights.

My recommendation

Highly recommend this. It’s worth a read for one and all. The research, the arguments presented will change the way you see the world. The book is for real and highly engaging.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience . She is currently working at Adfactors PR.

Previously she was employed at Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

1 Comment on "Exposing data bias & systemic inequality"

  1. Simple yet authentic review as well as Inspiring !!!!

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