How LinkedIn’s search engine may reflect a gender bias

Search for a female contact on LinkedIn, and you may get a curious result. The professional networking website asks if you meant to search for a similar-looking man’s name. A search for “Stephanie Williams,” for example, brings up a prompt asking if the searcher meant to type “Stephen Williams” instead. It’s not that there aren’t any people by that name — about 2,500 profiles included Stephanie Williams. But similar searches of popular female first names, paired with placeholder last names, bring up LinkedIn’s suggestion to change “Andrea Jones” to “Andrew Jones,” Danielle to Daniel, Michaela to Michael and Alexa to Alex. Most Read Stories Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks. The pattern repeats for at least a dozen of the most common female names in the U.S. Searches for…


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