It's been a debate that's been raging for centuries, and something that many of us still scratch our heads about, in so much that in the year 2016 gender inequality should no longer be happening. While the tech industry is steadily getting over its own gender inequality, Google is trying to take the issue on through emoji. This might not make much sense, but given the way that everyday users have become accustomed to using emoji in everyday conversations, what Google is doing starts to make a lot of sense. In a report titled "Expanding Emoji Professions: Reducing Gender Inequality" Google is petitioning Unicode with 13 new emoji of Women in all sorts of different professions.
Unicode is the International body responsible for approving new emoji and ensuring that they all mean the same thing across different platforms and different messaging applications. Google is asking them to consider 13 different emoji for Women in different professions. These depict a Woman in their professional environment, and while the traditional boxes are ticked for Teacher, Doctor and Nurse, Google have covered even more of the bases. These include Industry workers in welding gear or construction outfits, high tech workers, technology workers, musicians, farmers and so on. The idea is to show that Women can – and do – occupy all sorts of different professions, no matter misguided preconceptions. With these new emoji, it would be easier for people to explain, for instance, that their mother or their sister, or girlfriend is a technology worker or a construction worker. Google cites an op-ed from the New York Times as inspiration behind the proposals, where Amy Butcher, pondered where the emoji depicting women in all kinds of professions were.
The letter from Google – linked below – is of course focused on breaking down misconceptions regarding the jobs that women take, but they've also proposed some emoji math as well. In the new emoji grids below, Google proposes using an emoji of say a generic Woman emoji + a Tractor to create a Farmer. This is something that Google could of course do in their own Keyboard using some creative code, but it'd be interesting if Unicode approved these additions and changes as it could change emoji for everyone, everywhere.