Caroline Criado Perez OBE

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Campaigner & Author, Invisible Women

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Synopsis

In Invisible Women, Caroline highlights the systematic, and often unconscious biases behind the data and assumptions that construct our everyday lives. From healthcare diagnoses to search algorithms, the over-reliance on men being the default standard has left women, and society as a whole, disadvantaged. Caroline’s book Do it Like a Woman also looks at female role models from around the world, and throughout history, reflecting her campaigns to see women represented on English bank notes (Jane Austen on a £10 note) and in Parliament Square (a statue of women’s suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett).

Biography

Writer, journalist and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez is the author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. A leading voice on equality and feminist issues in technology, health and the media, Caroline has also led high-profile campaigns to publicly recognise the contribution of women in British history.

Invisible Women reveals the systematic, and often unconscious bias behind the data and assumptions that construct our everyday life. She reveals a world built for men, from the dangerous presumption that male symptoms of heart attacks also apply to women, to the fact that pianos are built for the male-hand size to crash-test dummies being modelled on the male frame. One of the key areas of examination is the increasing reliance in all areas on algorithms which are usually designed by, and using large amounts of data on, men which affects everything from internet search results to job applications. She uses numerous cases to exemplify how male data has always been treated as the norm, ignoring at least half the population, and reviews the effects of this imbalance on women and society as a whole. Alongside widespread critical acclaim, Invisble Women also won the prestigious Royal Society Science Book prize.

Caroline’s first book, Do it Like a Woman, recounts stories from women from around the world who are reinventing what it means to be a woman. It highlights the need to remember past heroines, and recognise the daily struggles women still face around the globe. The book connects to Caroline’s most popular campaigns including persuading the Bank of England to depict Jane Austen on the £10 note (the first time a non-Royal woman had appeared on an English bank note) and the petition for a statue of a woman in Parliament Square. The statue of Millicent Fawcett, marking 100 years since some women first won the right to vote, was not only Parliament Square’s first tribute to a woman, but also its first sculpture created by a woman.

Alongside regular appearances on the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, Caroline has written for The Guardian, the Telegraph, The Washington Post and the New Statesman. She has also featured in the documentary Blurred Lines: the New Battle of the Sexes and won the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year award.

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