During the week I posted an article about some of the issues and options around using colour to represent gender (that is, the binary of Male or Female). I included a one-question poll to gather some insights about the attitudes out there towards the use of colour with gender:

Where do you stand on the blue-pink issue? If you were a designer about to assign colours to the gender values in your chart, what choice would you make?

Here are the results, after 126 responses (50 female, 76 male):

Table

As you can see in the table and chart below, the real difference in thinking concerns the use of pink to represent females. Only 14% of women responded in favour of using pink to represent females, whereas 41% of men would use the blue and pink combination. 50% of women would use a completely different pair of colours.

Chart

I guess the main conclusion for me is: if you use pink to represent any female-related data in your visualisation work, almost 7 out of 8 female readers of your work might not be particularly appreciative of that colour association. We spend so much time discussing the issue of adjusting colour choices for the 1 in 10 (ish) colour blind readers, this use of pink finding would seem even more stark.


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