Women can be scientists and rockstars too: The emoji world is ditching gender stereotypes


With its male cops, soldiers and detectives, the emoji world grossly over-represents men (and under-represents women) in professional roles. But a few Google employees are finally changing that.

In May, a group of Googlers proposed a set of new emoji to show more women at work. On Thursday (July 14), the Unicode Technical Committee—a.k.a the people who approve emojis—agreed to add 11 new professional emoji, in both male and female options. Roles that are stereotypically considered masculine—including farmers, business workers, welders and rockstars—will soon be available for both genders in all the skin tones:

Gender Neutral Emoji
The 11 new gender-defying emoji of women. (Official Google Blog)

In addition to the new emoji, Unicode is also working to add new gender counterparts to the 33 Unicode emoji that currently exist only as male or female.

Gender neutral emojis
Existing emoji get male and female options. (Official Google Blog)

“We hope these updates help make emoji just a little more representative of the millions of people around the 🌎 who use them,” Nicole Bleuel, marketing lead and diversity champion for Google’s Emoji team, wrote in a company blog post Thursday. These new emoji options are expected to be released by the end of the year.

As for real life, Google hired and allocated leadership roles to 2% more women in 2015 compared to the year earlier, but its male employees still outnumber female employees two to one.

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