Google Employees Propose New Emojis Focusing on Professional Women


Move over, Information Desk Person: If some Google employees have their way, we’ll soon be getting a whole new set of emojis that represent a wide range of careers for women.

According to the proposal [PDF], which was submitted to the Unicode Consortium on Tuesday, “Google wants to increase the representation of women in emoji” by creating “a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.”

The proposal follows an outcry over the lack of emojis featuring professional women. Ladies who want to express themselves via emoji can choose from a neutral female emoji, a bride, a princess, a dancing lady in a red dress, or twins dressed as bunnies—a fact pointed out in #LikeAGirl, an ad campaign for Always. Men are better represented: They can choose from Santa, or a detective, a police officer, a construction worker, or a number of athletes.

Niniane Wang, CEO of Evertoon and a former Google employee, told Mic late last year that “Every day we're seeing this subtle message that there are these emojis of men doing jobs, but women are just dancing and getting their hair cut. … [Emojis have] become part of our cultural language. That's why I don't think it's silly. Lots of people communicate with emojis, and texting is such a pervasive part of how we communicate with each other. If we're all texting, and all using emojis, then doesn't it make sense that they should represent us?”

Google employees Rachel Been, Nicole Bleuel, Agustin Fonts, and Mark Davis—who is also co-founder and president of the Unicode Consortium—have proposed 13 new female emojis (and their male counterparts), running the gamut from office workers and doctors to scientists and software engineers to mechanics and farmers. “We believe this will empower young women (the heaviest emoji users), and better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world,” the proposal reads.

The goal is to implement these new emojis by the end of 2016. “The global women’s equality movement is growing,” the proposal reads, “so the time to create these emoji is now.”

[h/t Buzzfeed]