The Technologies of Discrimination: How Platforms Cultivate Gender Inequality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The changes created by platform-facilitated labor are considered fundamental challenges to the future of work. As more data accumulates on gender discrimination in online platforms, this Article explores how inequality is cultivated by platforms in the gig economy. Looking at technological architecture as organizational structure, this essay bridges a gap between three bodies of scholarship that have not yet been in conversation but considering them together is necessary if we are to think about gender equality in platform-facilitated labor. The first concerns data driven discrimination, the second concerns the role of platform affordances and the third concerns organizational policies. These point to the gender inequality regime that platforms may enact. Thus, the Article theoretically contributes to unpacking platforms' role in perpetuating and institutionalizing gender inequality. Finally, it offers some suggestions on the ways in which law, policy and technology can disrupt the institutionalization of gender inequality in platform-facilitated labor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-202
Number of pages24
JournalLaw and Ethics of Human Rights
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • algorithms
  • discrimination
  • gender inequality
  • gig economy
  • platform work
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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