Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Non-sexist female emojis could appear on your phone later this year

Emojis.jpg

Last year we welcomed same-sex couples and diverse skin-tones to our emoji keyboards. The same keyboards which offer 12 different types of train, all types of weather and a selection of world foods. 

But, when it comes to women, we are limited to emojis of princesses, sassy painted nails and dancing bunny girls – while men get to be policemen, medics, detectives, runners, swimmers, and, er, Father Christmas.

Not for long. Google employees have designed a range of new emojis aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace. If all goes to plan, women might soon be able to communicate using 13 realistic new cartoons, including female engineers, chemists, plumbers and farmers.

The Google team presented the 13 new designs on Tuesday before an “emoji subcommittee” in Silicon Valley, California. Which, as subcommittees go, sounds pretty fun.

Emojis

The Google proposal showed how new career-friendly emojis could be created. Image: Unicode

“No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” the four Google workers write in their proposal. “Isn’t it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?”



Millions of people across the world use emojis to communicate, and women under 30 are by far the most frequent users. “It’s not surprising,” says the Google proposal, “that women and men are increasingly vocal about the need for more accurate female representation in emoji professions.”

Emojis

Apple introduced emojis of different ethnicities in April 2015 - but the female emojis are still portrayed in stereotypical ways.

It might seem like a trivial issue, but a survey carried out by Always in March 2016 found that 70 per cent of girls felt emojis failed to represent them properly. In the mini-documentary that accompanied the findings, adolescent girls were asked what they felt about emojis. One teenage girl commented: “There’s no girl in the profession emojis, unless you count being a bride as a profession.” (Sidenote: there’s no groom emoji.)

“Society has a tendency to send subtle messages that can limit girls to stereotypes,” says filmmaker Lucy Walker, who created the video.

If approved, the new career-friendly emojis could appear on phones this year, according to The Guardian. We should learn more about whether they'll get the go-ahead later this summer – stay tuned.

Related

Femojis plus words_Line6.jpg

Grace Dent on why we need ‘femojis’ to break period taboos

tech women.jpeg

Meet the 'wogrammers' breaking gender stereotypes in the tech industry

hero.jpg

Behold 'Femojis', the emojis of Beyonce, Lena Dunham and more

emojis 2.jpg

Pink sweaters, girls dancing in bunny ears: are emoji sexist?

Finger-Ok-Emoji.png

The top 10 emojis used during sexting

Still-from-Suffragette-20-009.jpg

Revealed: the shocking extent of gender inequality in UK film industry

emojiji.jpg

Meet the new Emoji candidates for 2016

flirtmojirange.JPG

Vagina emojis have arrived – and there's one to suit everyone

lara jade.jpg

Why are women so underrepresented in photography?

Comments

More

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017

Game of Thrones fans, the trailer for season 7 is finally here...

And, yes, we've analysed the entire thing for you...

by Jasmine Andersson
25 May 2017

Millions of people won’t be able to elect a female MP this election

100 constituencies in the UK don't have a single woman on the ballot

by Jasmine Andersson
25 May 2017

Twin sisters celebrate 100th birthday with fabulous photo shoot

Perfectly capturing a century of love, friendship, and sisterhood

by Kayleigh Dray
25 May 2017

This is how to contact the police when you’re too scared to speak

Spread the word

by Moya Crockett
25 May 2017

Krispy Kreme is launching a chocolate coffee spread

The new hazelnut coffee spread is said to rival Nutella

by Jasmine Andersson
25 May 2017