The 'STEM-ojis' see women taking on the roles of doctors, engineers, farmers, rockstars, and teachers
Google is leading the call to introduce a new set of emojis promoting gender equality in the workplace, which includes engineers, chemists, farmers, and plumbers who are all women. The 13 new designs, presented to the Unicode Consortium – a non-profit organisation charged with writing the computer codes allowing emojis to be visible on screens all over the world – will now be considered for introduction.
“No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” the Google team wrote in its proposal. “Isn’t it time that emoji also reflected the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?”
Emojis, first developed by a Japanese pager company as a way to pitch the product to younger users, have become increasingly popular in the last few years, now coming as a standard keyboard variation in a number of messaging and operating systems. Updates have been made to their design to include more races and gender representations, as well as same-sex relationships.
The Google team said considering emoji’s increasing value as an “important means of communication” and the popularity of its use by women aged under 30, “it is surprising that women and man are increasingly vocal about the need for more accurate female representation in emoji professions.”
The Google team revealed that their proposal had been inspired by a Tweet sent by the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, asking for the inclusion of an emoji of a girl studying in response to a viral video about the representation of women in Unicode’s sanctioned pictograms.
Google’s team said it hoped that Unicode would quickly adopt and implement its proposals.
“Given the urgency to improve the representation of women in emoji, we recommend standardising these characters as quickly as possible.”