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Google wants emoji to better represent working women

By WITW Staff on May 11, 2016

Four Google employees have teamed up to develop 13 new emoji that do a better job of depicting women in the working world. Current emoji offerings for women stick pretty closely to the realm of health and beauty, featuring haircuts, manicures, and dancing girls while male emoji already include a policeman, a detective, and Santa.

Googlers Rachel Been, Nicole Bleuel, Agustin Fonts, and Mark Davis presented to the Unicode Consortium, the group that approves and standardizes emoji, stating their new emoji depict “a wide range of professions for women and men, with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.”


They propose that the new emoji will be created by combining pre-existing characters, such as a woman plus a hospital equaling a surgeon. The same process would work with male emoji. Their new-look emoji would include healthcare, science, education, technology, industry, and food service, among others.

The team’s proposal notes that it’s high time for these additions given the growing women’s equality movement, the U.N.’s sustainable development agenda, the U.S. Treasury’s announcement that Harriet Tubman will appear on the $20 bill, and the potential for Hillary Clinton to become the first female U.S. presidential nominee for a major party. The group also pointed out that women are the most frequent users of emoji.

Read the full story at The Verge. See the full proposal here.


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