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Anja Lambrecht
Anja Lambrecht

Winner of 2020 AMA TechSIG Lazaridis Prize for best paper announced

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has announced the 2020 winner of the Lazaridis Prize for the Best Paper on the Practice of Marketing as it relates to Innovation, Technology and Interactivity.

This year’s winning paper is "Algorithmic bias? An empirical study into apparent gender-based discrimination in the display of STEM career ads” authored by Anja Lambrecht, Professor of Management, London Business School, and Catherine Tucker, Distinguished Professor of Management, MIT Sloan.

“We were thrilled to receive the AMA TechSIG Lazaridis Prize for our paper on algorithmic bias in STEM job ads,” says Tucker, who’s research interests lie in how technology allows firms to use digital data and machine learning to improve performance, and in the challenges this poses for regulation, with an expertise in online advertising, digital health, social media and electronic privacy.

In their research, Lambrecht and Tucker found that online ads about jobs in STEM were shown to fewer women than men, even though the advertiser had not requested a preference for either gender.

“We also discovered that this is not because a bias is built into the social media platform’s algorithm,” remarks Lambrecht, explaining: “Young females are an attractive target group on online platforms, and therefore highly valued by advertisers. The high price of female eyeballs inadvertently caused STEM ads to be appear on the screens of fewer women. These results show that unbiased algorithms can still lead to biased outcomes. In the specific context of STEM ads, this is important because if women are less likely to see ads designed to promote information about careers in STEM, then employers, as well as public policy makers, need to think carefully about how to best reach out to inform women about such jobs.”

The AMA TechSIG Lazaridis Prize is awarded to the paper that best, in the interpretation of the Prize Committee, addresses issues relevant to the practice of marketing as it relates to innovation, technology, and interactivity. Winners receive a $1,500 prize and plaque.

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