Women are a long way from being treated as equals in the workplace, but thanks to a new proposal from Google, some much-needed emoji equality might be on the way.
On Tuesday, the tech giant unveiled 13 new emoji that feature women in professional roles. Until now, the only emoji representing jobs are of men while women are relegated to outdated archetypes like brides, dancers, and princesses. The new emoji would depict women as engineers, farmers, scientists, doctors, and more.
“Given the fact that women are the most frequent emoji users, and that they span a wide professional spectrum not yet reflected in current emoji, we want to help address this pressing matter of equality,” Google outlined in its proposal.
Although Google’s proposal is still a long way from passing, something tells us that the Unicode Consortium—the body responsible for standardizing emoji—will give this one its coveted stamp of approval. According to research, 82% of girls aged 16–24 use emoji every day, so there’s hope that the 13 proposed emoji help inspire women to dream big.
In fact, Google’s inspiration for the new designs came from a New York Times op-ed called “Emoji Feminism,” in which the author, Amy Butcher, wonders aloud why professional women are not better represented among the 1000 standardized emoji.
As it stands now, women make up 46% of the workforce in the United States, but they earn just 79 cents for every dollar that men earn. No one is suggesting that a few empowering emoji will fix the gender imbalance in this country, but it certainly can't hurt.
Use emoji on the brand new iPhone SE, and let us know what you think of Google's proposed feminist emojis.