Challenge

Today, 85% of women seek health advice online. ​

​Yet ‘how do I check my breasts?’ is just one of the life-saving questions that one of the most recognisable voice assistants currently can’t answer. Though when it comes to the male anatomy, they can tell you how to check your testicles for signs of cancer and even respond to slang terms for the male anatomy.

Inspiration

The gender bias ingrained in technology platforms inspired the I Touch Myself Project to take action. For International Women’s Day, the project launched a powerful campaign with Wunderman Thompson and the help of one of the world’s most recognisable female voices – Karen Jacobsen, whose voice can be heard on over a billion devices.

Idea

The campaign video, encourages women to ‘touch themselves’, then explains in detail the step-by-step process. For the awareness message to be shared widely, the team behind the campaign skirted around nudity censorship guidelines on social media by creating a digital body for the voice assistant. The campaign went live across social and digital platforms redirecting to a microsite featuring breast health information.

To close the information gap further, we built a Breast Check Skill for Alexa that enables Amazon devices to respond to the question “How do I check my breasts?” and other words women use to talk about their breasts.

I jumped at the chance to advocate for women to no longer be penalised by gender bias in tech devices. With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer, hopefully women will receive the lifesaving information they need.

Karen Jacobsen

Voiceover artist for Smart Assistants & the GPS

ITMP Gender Bias Case Study

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