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Gender Gap Tracker
SFU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP TOOL TO MEASURE GENDER EQUITY IN MAINSTREAM NEWS
Informed Opinions, in partnership with Simon Fraser University, developed a new tool to track in real time the number of women and men quoted in major news platforms in Canada. The Gender Gap Tracker powered by SFU uses the latest advances in big data analytics and text data mining to measure gender equity in news sources with the aim of drawing attention to—and closing—the persistent gap.
Given SFU’s decade of leadership in the field of big data and commitment to gender equality, the collaboration was a perfect fit for the university to utilize its advanced computing infrastructure for social scientists to develop the tool.
ABOUT THE GENDER GAP TRACKER
Online visitors can select date ranges and specific news outlets to see the percentage of men’s voices versus women’s voices quoted online and also view the aggregate average. Through SFU, the collected data is available to other researchers across the country.
EXPERTS BEHIND THE TOOL
- The partnership: Informed Opinions is a national non-profit working to ensure diverse women’s perspectives and priorities are equitably integrated into Canadian public discourse.
- Big data experts: SFU professor Maite Taboada, Department of Linguistics, and her research team played a significant role in developing the Gender Gap Tracker. SFU is home to a wide range of big data experts like Taboada that engage with industry, government and communities to solve difficult challenges using unconventional solutions.
- SFU’s Discourse Processing Lab: The tool was developed by SFU’s Discourse Processing Lab using the latest advances in computational linguistics to identify who is mentioned and quoted and provides an accurate gender breakdown. By applying similiar big data aproaches to linguistics, the lab is also solving urgent problems around misinformation, fake news and comment moderation.
- SFU’s Research Computing Group: The Gender Gap Tracker is hosted by SFU’s Research Computing Group, enabling Canadian researchers to develop groundbreaking projects, like the Gender Gap Tracker, by offering advanced research computing infrastructure. This includes SFU’s Supercomputer Cedar, one of Canada’s most most powerful academic supercomputers.
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