May 12, 2016
Emojis usually aren’t the first things we think of to showcase gender equality online. But that may all soon be changing, thanks to one proposal at the Unicode Consortium.
A proposal was brought forward to reduce gender inequality by showing that women are just as professional as men. It may seem silly, but emojis is important for promoting diversity because they showcase the cultural temperament of our time. Widely used to showcase users’ feelings and reactions, they showcase ourselves online. That being said, many women are increasingly frustrated with the lack of variety of action that female emojis show, especially in comparison to their male counterparts. In the proposal itself, it opens with a simple goal: “to create a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.”
Emojis have a large impact on digital trends and the users’ attitudes online. As quoted in the proposal, women are the leading force behind many of the online trends we know today:
Young women are the heaviest users of emoji. According to a September, 2015 SocialTimes report by AdWeek, 92% of online consumers use emoji. Of that user base, 78 percent of women are frequent emoji users, versus 60 percent of men. Likewise, age breakdowns of the emoji-active user base reveal that 72 percent of those under 25 are frequent emoji users, and 77 percent of users aged 25-29 are frequent users. Emoji usage begins dropping at age 30 (with frequent usage dropping to 65 percent for ages 30-35, and 60 percent for people over 35.)
The nexus of female users and young users reveals that women under 30 are most the frequent emoji users by far.
Given that women are more likely to use emoji at work while communicating with peers (CNBC), it’s not surprising that women and men are increasingly vocal about the need for more accurate female representation in emoji professions.
Google’s move towards increasing female emojis in various roles outside of what’s already available is a small step towards abolishing gender inequality.
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