Google Proposal for 'Professional Women' Emoji Accepted

Google Proposal for 'Professional Women' Emoji Accepted
Image credit: Google

When you look up emoji doing jobs on your phone -- like a detective -- the option is a male emoji. You can't send your friends an image of a female police offer, but you can send them a female princess, and that doesn't really sit well as far as gender diversity goes. Emoji should be open to all genders, nationalities and races, right?

Google thinks so. The company petitioned the Unicode Consortium in May to add 13 new "working emoji" that cover new jobs and build more gender equality into these tiny icons. Unicode has since agreed to launch 11 of Google's proposed emoji, with representations for men and women (and support for varying skin tones).


That's not all. Unicode is also retrofitting 33 existing emoji with selectable male and female versions. If you want to send a friend female runner, you can. A man or a woman getting their hair cut? Done. A female weightlifter? Let 'er rip.

"These additions can be included in future versions of Android and other platforms -- because Unicode helps make sure that people with different phones can send and receive the same emoji," Google writes.

"These new emoji are one of several efforts we're making to better represent women in technology, and to connect girls with the education and resources they need to pursue careers in STEM. One such effort is Made with Code, which helps girls pursue and express their passions using computer science. Ahead of World Emoji Day this weekend, Made with Code is releasing a new project that teaches coding skills through the creation of emoji-inspired stickers."

Of the two emoji that didn't make Unicode's finalist list, a healthcare worker, was already represented by yet another healthcare-themed emoji. No need for two, Unicode argued. Also out is the "high-tech worker" emoji, which is just a person working on a laptop. According to Unicode, it would be hard for a texter to see the details of that emoji on a typical device.

The companies tasked with integrating these emoji into their devices can begin doing so now, rather than having to wait for the Unicode 10.0 rollout in June 2017. In other words, you might have greater gender diversity among your emoji in just a few months.

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