Google employees fighting gender inequality with emojis

A team of Google employees suggests 13 new emojis to better represent professional women.

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In a recent submission made to the Unicode Consortium [PDF], the body responsible for approving new emojis, a group of Google employees has proposed "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."

The 13 new emojis include heathcare workers, scientists, businesspeople and even rock stars. The professions were chosen based on what would best represent the modern workforce. While "the urgency to improve the representation of women" was a key concern, each new professional emoji also came with an associated male counterpart.

Emojis for awareness isn't as crazy as it sounds, with condom company Durex also petitioning the Unicode Consortium this week for a condom emoji to "empower [teens] to talk openly about protection" noting that communication is "vital to prevent STIs, HIV and AIDS."

The group behind the professional women emojis pointed to Amy Butcher's Emoji Feminism op ed as a major inspiration, and it hopes to have the new emojis filling up your message windows by the end of 2016.

Diversity and representation is an increasingly important issue in the tech world. Google itself was one of the first Silicon Valley giants to divulge its diversity report. The search company was still sitting at the industry standard of around 30 percent women in 2015.