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How Voice Assistants Reinforce the Tech Gender Gap


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female voice assistant, illustration

Credit: Medium

Smart voice assistants are becoming staples in consumer life, with 47.3 million U.S. adults having access to the devices in their homes. Working professionals are using the smart technology in their office environments to boost productivity and improve in-office communications, according to ZDNet.

While smart assistants offer a slew of benefits, not all impacts of the devices are positive, according to Julia Kanouse, CEO of the Illinois Technology Association. 

The major digital voice assistants — Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant — all have one major default in common: A female voice. These voices reinforce the stereotype of women being "obliging, docile, and eager-to-please helpers," according to a recent report from the United Nations.

"Even though the choice to use a woman's voice is typically grounded in research, it's alarming that many people are more comfortable with a woman assisting them — and by extension, more comfortable telling a woman what to do," Kanouse says.

From TechRepublic
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