What Can Emojis Tell Us About Diversity and Inclusion?
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Didn't know there was a grassroots organization dedicated to making emojis more inclusive? Neither did we. But now we all do. It's called Emojination, and it was started by a trio of diverse women with backgrounds in systems design, coding and startup incubation. And Emojination has caught the attention of software giant Adobe, whose current mission statement stakes them to "changing the world through digital experiences."
As announced in an Adobe press release, the multinational computing corporation and its unlikely nonprofit counterpart have joined forces to "Continue to support the development of new inclusive emoji proposals and provide emoji education efforts to empower the creation of emoji proposals by all.
What brought about alliance, you might be asking? As Adobe's release also details, the company recently completed a global survey of 7,000 emoji users to investigate "the importance and impact of diversity and representation in emoji." Turns out, in an era when digital natives are dictating culture and transforming notions of professional leadership, it's more important than you might think.
Eighty-three percent of survey resondents feel "emoji should continue to strive for more inclusive representation of users"; only 37% of users with disabilities or impairments "feel represented in the currently available emoji"; 54% "feel their identity is adequately reflected in current emoji options"; and, to the presumed puzzlement of typewriter-clutching luddites, 76% feel "emoji are an important communication tool for creating unity, respect and understanding of one another."
Emojination has already helped successfully pass a hijab emoji, DNA emoji and dumpling emoji in conjunction with various activists, artists and governments.
If there's an inclusive emoji you'd like to see after reading this article, feel free to tweet your idea @entrepreneur. We promise not to reply with a frown.