Politician by Jini Kim

What I observed that I think could be harmful:
In these images, I found politicians are predominantly white men. The predominance of white men in images of politicians can have several harmful effects. It suggests that political power is predominantly held by white men, potentially discouraging people of other races and genders from pursuing political careers.
This reinforces the stereotype that leadership and authority are inherently traits of white men, which can perpetuate racial and gender biases. It may lead to a governance approach that lacks diversity in perspectives, which is crucial for addressing the complex needs of a diverse population. This visual imbalance can reflect and reinforce existing social inequalities, suggesting that some groups are more entitled to power and decision-making than others. Overall, the overrepresentation of white men in political imagery can contribute to a lack of diversity and inclusivity in political representation, affecting how policies are made and whose interests are prioritized.

Why I think this could be harmful, and to whom:
When politicians are predominantly white men, it reinforces the stereotype that leadership and political authority are male domains. This can be harmful in several ways:

  1. Women and Girls: They may feel excluded from political careers, seeing fewer role models who reflect their gender and potential.
  2. Societal Progress: Lack of race/gender diversity in politics can lead to policies that don’t fully address or represent the needs and perspectives of the entire population.
  3. Democratic Representation: A government that does not reflect the race/gender composition of its populace undermines the principle of representative democracy.
    The harm, therefore, extends to the broader society by perpetuating race/gender imbalances and affecting the inclusiveness and effectiveness of governance.

    How I think this issue could potentially be fixed:
    Firstly, we can do diversity-inclusive data collection. I think It is important to collect data that includes diverse images of various genders/races for different occupations when gathering images or information.
    Second, we can improve algorithm. We can minimize bias by considering improvements to algorithms responsible for image generation.
    Third, we can do intentional adjustment on the output. If race/gender bias is detected in the generated output, it is important to intentionally adjust the output to better reflect diversity.
    Lastly, we can make it more transparent. We can provide some interfaces to show how the result comes out. By describing the operation of algorithms and disclosing them transparently, users should understand how the output was generated.

    Note, this audit report is relevant to poster’s own identity and/or people and communities the poster care about.