Analyzing over half a million articles with the help of AI, of course, the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, a company that renders independent research and policy recommendations for the U.K.’s creative industry revealed that although the representation of women has increased, there needs to more parity. In collaboration with innovation foundation Nesta, the study also delved into the representation of gender in the creative industry and how often “he” and “she” are being mentioned fashion, stage, media, books, and games.
Men founded, managed & directed while women sang and danced
Discovering how far the creative industry has come and how much needs to change in terms of gender, the study found that female pronouns constituted less than a third in creative sections between the years 2000 and 2013. ‘Over the next four years, references pivoted up 10%, to 40% in 2018—3% more than the proportion of women in the U.K. creative industry itself. And while nonbinary “they/them” pronouns were not a part of the study, because the data set could be conflated with third-person plural pronouns, the use of the term “nonbinary” also saw a spike. While it was used only 100 times over the 18-year period, 50 of those mentions were in 2018,’ reported Fast Company. In 2016, the number of pronouns increased to a higher percentage, however, the way in which men and women were described and the roles they fulfilled vastly varied. Words that deserved men directed, performed, painted, designed, managed, founded and launched, on the other hand, for women, it was, sings, dances, and “she” was mostly used in the fashion category.
Gender bias still continues to threaten the creative industry
Dr. Cath Sleeman, who conducted the research and carried out the data visualizations to use both data and machine learning to gain more insights about gender equality. Sleeman said, “While big data studies can enrich diversity measures, there are two important sources of potential bias. First, we’re almost always inferring gender from a face, a first name, or a single pronoun—and so we may get a person’s gender wrong. Second, these inference methods typically only detect ‘male’ and ‘female,’ excluding or misclassifying anyone who identifies with a nonbinary gender.” Therefore, for her, big data should not be replaced with surveys which means that people have the choice to opt-out of it. The truth is that gender bias is something that still continues to threaten the creative industry, particularly when some processes are being automated along with data used from the past years. Hence, such data can be used to analyze equality rather than it being used as a method for instruction in the future.
Image credit: Study Breaks Magazine