Gender bias in Google Ads related to job seeking

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University discovered that female job seekers are much less likely to be shown adverts on Google for highly paid jobs than men (Datta, Tschantz and Datta, 2015). They deployed an automated testing rig called AdFisher that created over 17,370 fake jobseeking profiles. The profiles were shown 600,000 advertisements by Google’s advertising platform AdSense which the team tracked and analyzed (Ibid.). The researchers’ analysis found discrimination and opacity. Males were disproportionately shown ads encouraging the seeking of coaching services for high paying jobs. The researchers were unable to deduce why such discrimination occurred given the opacity of Google’s ad ecosystem, however, they offer the experiment as a starting point for possible internal investigation or for the investigation of regulatory bodies (ibid).