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Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  75,550 ratings  ·  10,289 reviews
The #3 Sunday Times bestseller.

Discover the shocking gender bias that affects our everyday lives.

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued.
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Paperback, 321 pages
Published March 5th 2020 by Vintage (first published March 7th 2019)
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Cassie "It is because females are so highly prized there is less medical data."

I'm not sure if this statement is more sexist, racist, or pure idiotic.

Just be…more
"It is because females are so highly prized there is less medical data."

I'm not sure if this statement is more sexist, racist, or pure idiotic.

Just because doctors have "separate dose[s]" does not mean they are CORRECT or EFFECTIVE for every type of person.

Women have been experimented on just as much as men. You - as what appears to be a privileged, white, little boy - simply do not have to worry about what has happened to women for centuries.

Don't read the book. Clearly, you are the audience that will never learn from or benefit from it no matter what. (less)
Su For those who are still curious, I already answered when asked the first time. Please, check the details in my answer to Gabe's comment.

In short, it c…more
For those who are still curious, I already answered when asked the first time. Please, check the details in my answer to Gabe's comment.

In short, it concerns the following statement "Portugal, for instance, one of the countries that offers 100% replacement wages, offers only six weeks of leave." This is not correct. Portugal actually offers 120 days paid in full, so around 17 weeks, not 6. It is not the first time I see this incorrect information. But I can see where this number comes from: 6 weeks is the duration of the mandatory leave exclusive for the mother.

It cannot be easy to combine so much information, but this should be corrected not to mislead readers. Has anyone else found something like this that should be corrected?(less)

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Trevor
I really dislike conspiracy theories – in fact, few things make me angrier. The reason is that a conspiracy generally involves people plotting and planning and those people who are assumed to have the power to bring the conspiracy into effect generally have been shown in history to be pretty stupid – in fact, far too stupid to do the conspiracy and keep quiet about it. Conspiracy theories also tend to involve improbable leaps of faith along the way, you know, like the one that the US government ...more
Becky
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do not read this if you are suffering from high blood pressure, because it is absolutely rage inducing. However EVERYONE should read this at some point, it looks at things that I had never even considered, genuinely brilliant.

Second Read- so.... my Feminist bookclub have this on the list, so gave it a reread- just as goddamn rage inducing on the second read.
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Incredibly enlightening... and frustrating.
Rob
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know who would possibly want a man's opinion on a book about the problems with male default bias, but... here's my review.

This is essentially a collection of statistics which entail how systems made by men and for men are minimizing and marginalizing the other 50% of the population. It does this by breaking the statistics down into chapter-spanning categories and creating a cohesive narrative to explain how all of these events are related and come back to the same basic problem.

I would r
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Lior
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a really good comprehensive investigation of how a failure to account for gender based needs and requirements results in a bias towards cis men.
This is exactly why the casual cissexism embedded in it is so unfortunate and harmful.
Perez critics the continuous overlooking of women and women's needs, but is herself continuously overlooking trans and nonbinary people. She also keeps switching between sex and gender as interchangeable.
The most problematic claim is that a lack of sex-segregate
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Mario the lone bookwolf (is on a longer vacation)
Simply said, if someone is in power, he tries to make a policy that meets his wishes and reflects the image of the society, company, etc he wants to build. This can be done in a direct, evil way by treating minorities, women, atheists, etc. with repression until imprisonment, torture and death if they misbehave and in these cases, it is an obvious crime.

It gets more subtle when bigotry and indoctrination kick in and lead to both politicians and managers that are not all direct, misogynic sexist
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Gwen
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about unconscious bias. It's not about men deliberately excluding women when considering things like uniforms, city travel, or treatments for medical conditions ... although it's true that once the bias is pointed out, it's not always top of the list to make safety adjustments. And that's really one of the most important points of the book: it endangers women if you design and build the world without considering women's needs and habits. Women are built in a particular way, and th ...more
Laura Sackton
There is so much relevant, important, fascinating, and deeply troubling information here about the ways in which the world, in big and small ways, is built for white men. BUT. I have to give this book two stars for its appalling erasure of trans and nonbinary people. The words themsleves (transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming) do not even appear in this book. Not once. Nor does the word cisgender. In a book about the ways that a lack of data renders women invisible, and the ways that inv ...more
Joanne Harris
This is a long-delayed, hugely important book, which people of ALL genders should be reading. Sadly, more people seem to be discussing it than have actually read it. It's not just about crash test dummies, or voice recognition software, or airline seats, or toilet queues, or medical research. It's about the systematic way in which data on women has been ignored, neglected and downright erased, whereas data on men is not only abundant, but recognized as the universal norm. The needs of the "avera ...more
Krista
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
Invisible Women is the story of what happens when we forget to account for half of humanity. It is an exposé of how the gender data gap harms women when life proceeds, more or less as normal. In urban planning, politics, the workplace. It is also about what happens to women living in a world built on male data when things go wrong. When they get sick. When they lose their home in a flood. When they have to flee that home because of war.

My husband is not a knuckle-dragging caveman, but he is a mi
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☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Q:
Most of recorded human history is one big data gap. Starting with the theory of Man the Hunter, the chroniclers of the past have left little space for women’s role in the evolution of humanity, whether cultural or biological. Instead, the lives of men have been taken to represent those of humans overall. When it comes to the lives of the other half of humanity, there is often nothing but silence.
And these silences are everywhere. Our entire culture is riddled with them. Films, news, literature
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Sippy
Had a hard time reading this, skipped, scanned, got bored with the ranting and the constant portaying women as victims and mothers. They are many times, but especially in western countries they have and can do more than is suggested in this book. Underwhelming. And yes: I am a feminist. ♀️
Woman Reading
4.5 ☆ rounded up because Everyone should read this book!
you don’t have to realize you’re being discriminated against to in fact be discriminated against

Caroline Criado-Perez tackles an immense topic and she succeeds in demonstrating that women have been rendered invisible by virtue of cultural norms that men sometimes have unthinkingly and at other times deliberately have adopted. By excluding women from consideration, not only does all of humanity lose out on potentially transformative insights
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leynes
Sep 24, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I got a free copy of Invisible Women (shout out to the LPB Berlin) I was really excited. Many of my friends raved about this book which exposes the gender gap in scientific data and how the resulting gap in knowledge causes the continuous and systematic discrimination against women, creating an invisible bias that has a profound impact on women's lives.

Unfortunately, I can't join their choir of praise. Whilst this book had an interesting subject matter, I had some major problems with it:

1
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Candie
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening!!! So interesting to see how deep inequality really goes systemically. I mean you know it does, but I've never looked at it through the eyes of all of this data before, or lack there of. It discusses a lot of topics that are not generally talked about when people are talking about gender inequality. Areas that you have never even thought about; for example things like snow removal, public transportation, how public bathrooms are designed. Some of the things discussed are life threate ...more
Alice Lippart
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Incredibly interesting!
Melanie
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know the feeling when you have known something all your life but everyone else thinks your mental when you talk about it. How often I have been told to be exaggerating when I pointed out bias against women. I mean most people will agree that it exists, but when I go on about how systematic it is, stacked against us in a way that it feels impossible to win or even pull a draw... then eyes start to glaze over. In comes @ccriadoperez excellent book that I recommend everyone to read especially a ...more
Anna
I decided to read ‘Invisible Women’ after coming across an extract from it in the Guardian and associated discussion on twitter. Both focused on how practically everything is designed for the mythical ‘average man’. I'm very aware of this due to being only 5ft tall. I cannot reach any overhead racks in trains, hanging straps in buses, or top shelves in supermarkets. I’ve given up on backpacks because they’re never comfortable and find smart phones incredibly unwieldy to use, one of many reasons ...more
Kelly
Read this if you're ready to get mad about how basically every research study done and used to create solutions to problems for "all people" are based on the average white male. Not surprising, but infuriating to see it laid out so plainly. I've always been so angered about technology being not useful for my tiny hands, and it's relieving -- and again, angering and frustrating -- this is just a norm of being female when research completely excludes the fact your body isn't the average white dude ...more
Prerna
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
If you want more anger inducing proof for the fact that the systems in place across the world are inherently rigged against women because male definitions and standards have always been default, then this book is a perfect read. Even supposedly gender-neutral designs are actually biased against women due to non-availability of sex-disaggregated data.

This staggering lack of data shapes the dangerous terrain women try to navigate on a daily basis. Perez, in this book, presents numerous examples wi
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Emily B
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely interesting and informative read. I learnt so much from reading this book, which I hope I can retain.

But yes this book is very statistic heavy, as a result there is a lot to take in.
julieta
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminismo
This book!! It took me a long time to read, since it´s a lot about (very frustrating) numbers. It´s pretty great, and terrifying at the same time. We have a lot of work to do, if we want things to truly change, but the first thing to maybe read this book and try to understand all the different things that are still separating women from really being equals in a default male world.
donna backshall
I read this hoping to do a presentation at work for our Women's Development forum, but holy crap, how in the world do you boil down such a densely filled book into 10-15 slides and a clean summary?

IT CAN'T BE DONE.

Well, I guess it can, but I wouldn't come close to doing justice to this vastly important book. "Gender data gap" would sound too much like a buzz word, and the message could never penetrate as it should.

Instead I am submitting this as a book club choice at work, but hoping we can re
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David
Apr 17, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a man's world.

Sure, I'm familiar with income disparity, about how office temperatures are dialled to male physiology, and the head scratching oversight from Fitbit tracking various health statuses but not menstrual cycles. Obvious annoyances but this book outlines how much more is at stake.

How about the fact that it wasn't until 2011 that the US started using a female crash-test dummy. Up to that point they simply used a small male version which leads to cars being completely designed aro
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Michelle
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Popsugar challenge 2020 - A Book Recommended by your favourite Vlog / A Book that won an Award in 2019

This is my least favourite non fiction format as its pretty data heavy but such a fascinating read that it was quite enjoyable wading through it.

This books focuses on us, females. 50% of the world population and we rarely feature in any statistics or data.

Language, emojis, transport, snow clearing, door weight, car design and pandemics are a few of the many data gaps that are analysed in this b
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Bianca
ALL THE STARS !!!!!

This is one of the most important books I've read in a long time.

I don't have the words to express how important this book is. I was considering whether I should read this, thinking I'm a feminist, I read a lot of stuff on the subject, I kind of know it all. WRONG! It turns out things are much worse than I/we ever imagined.

This book covers so many fields:
- history - how women have been completely erased from history;
- education, work, occupational health and safet
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Olivia
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I've picked up this book, I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to, and now I'm recommending it to you. This is an extremely well-researched and comprehensive look at the gender data gap in all aspects of life, ranging from the utterly absurd to the life-threatening. The sub-subtitle of this book could be "but wait, there's more" as Criado Perez delves deep into the social construction of the gender data gap with both conscious humour and appropriate outrage. I cannot recommend this ...more
Wick Welker
Women are astonishingly invisible.

This is a fire hose amount of data and research giving a definitive and sweeping conclusion: half the population of the world doesn't really exist. I've never read a more thorough and convincing book about the gender data gap that exists in every possible arena you can think of. I'm coming away from this book both horrified and, well, mostly horrified. This book will lift the veil from your eyes about the numerous ways in which women have been discriminated agai
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BrokenTune
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
Utterly brilliant.
What an infuriating, thought-provoking, well-researched, well-presented investigation into the gender data gap and the problems this causes with respect to women being represented in all parts of life.

The breadth and level of detail that the author covers is fantastic. The referencing to research alone makes this book stand out for me as it does back up what often is communicated as anecdotal evidence - i.e. is usually disputable - with something far more concrete. The statist
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Kevin
I knew that having a penis gave me certain advantages but I was completely oblivious of the extent of those advantages.

From the myth of meritocracy to the hyperbole of gender-neutrality, Pérez breaks it all down. While women represent 50% of world population, their representation in political leadership, in scientific and technological research, and in health and safety protocols is a fractional pittance.

Confirmation bias being what it is, it seems rather pointless to point out that the people
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Caroline Criado Pérez is a best-selling and award-winning writer, broadcaster and feminist campaigner. She is published across the major national media, and appears in both print and broadcast as a commentator on a wide range of topics.

Notable campaigns include getting a female historical figure on Bank of England banknotes; getting Twitter to introduce a "report abuse" button on tweets; getting t
...more

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  Every December, as we wrap up our annual Goodreads Reading Challenge, we ask our book-loving colleagues a simple yet incredibly tough...
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“There is no such thing as a woman who doesn’t work. There is only a woman who isn’t paid for her work.” 129 likes
“The result of this deeply male-dominated culture is that the male experience, the male perspective, has come to be seen as universal, while the female experience--that of half the global population, after all--is seen as, well, niche.” 97 likes
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