Emoji Equality

Writer: Teresa Madaleno

Over the weekend, I was visiting a small Ontario town with a girlfriend when I overheard a group of young people outside an ice cream parlour having a debate about emoji equality. If you haven’t already heard about this, Google employees have suggested a new set of emojis to reflect gender equality in the workplace.

Owl (Hoot) emoji

Emojis are the small digital images used to express an emotion or idea in electronic communication. While some people don’t give a hoot about emojis, they are very important to others. The new proposed emojis include cartoon female engineers, chemists, plumbers and farmers.

In their pitch, Google employees noted that of the 92 percent of online consumers, who use emojis, 78 percent are women, while 60 percent are men. They also said that both women and men are becoming more vocal about the need for more accurate female “representation in emoji professionals”.

Some people are shaking their heads and suggesting we focus on more pressing issues. However, I think we have to look at the bigger picture here.

We already seem to have a racial issue that has boiled over in North America and since our young people are using emojis so much, don’t you think it is a good idea to make sure our youth understand the importance of female equality? Adopting these new emojis could help cement the right images in young minds – both female and male minds. People throw around the words equality and diversity every once-in-a- while, but it is small actions like adopting emoji equality that can actually add up to real change. I guess what I am saying is, every little bit helps when it comes to defining and promoting equality.

For more on the emoji equality issue, check out this July CBC article: