Emojis have come a long way. What started off as gender-free yellow smiling faces have transformed into detailed pictures of anything and everyone you can imagine. Emojis recently became more diverse by allowing you to choose between different skin tones as well as hair and eye colours. Although, you’re also given emoji gender options, it doesn’t take long to realise that there seems to be some emoji gender inequality happening when you look at the job titles available for females.
If you’re a female emoji in the current Unicode Consortium keyboard you have far fewer job options than the male emojis, with your choices limited to:
- Bride; and
- Queen/Princess; and
With male emojis occupying positions like:
- Police Officer;
- Royal Guard;
- Santa Clause;
- Medic; and
- Various Sportsmen
To address this clear unequal representation of females in terms of the professions they can occupy, an Always campaign cleverly showed girls reacting to this. Girls were clearly confused by the lack of female professions amongst the emojis.
Four Google employees were inspired by this campaign and worked hard on a proposal which was released last week. The proposal suggests thirteen new emoji professions. The proposal goes on to suggest that the user should have the option to choose between a female or male to be represented in one of the thirteen suggested emoji professions.
This is the list of the thirteen new proposed emoji professions:
- Healthcare (doctor);
- Healthcare (nurse/surgeon);
- Education (Graduate);
- Education (Teacher)
- Industry (factory);
- Industry (high-tech);
- Industry (construction);
- Food Service; and
The team ended off the report by suggesting a broader gender spectrum:
We recognize the importance of having an inclusive representation of all people in emoji, whether they identify with a specific gender or not. We believe an egalitarian, sensitive, and compelling representation of gender in emoji is extremely important. However, as this is not the focus of this effort, we suggest decoupling the gender-neutral representation of emoji from this proposal. We would encourage other members of Unicode to join us in creating a system of emoji design that can accommodate a broader gender spectrum.
What do you think of Google’s suggestion on expanding the emoji gender spectrum? Drop us a comment with your thoughts.