At the beginning of the year, I made a goal that I wanted to talk more about the gender inequality in the tech world and begin to have a discussion if this is also present within the church tech world.
Well, this conversation has taken a unique turn as Google, who is one of the many tech companies who are discussing gender inequality, is now trying to push gender equality with emojis.
As Google points out in the blog article, we use emojis a lot. We even now have a Bible translation with emojis. It would make sense we need to have women in professions on the list to chose from. Unfortunately, the list is sadly still 1900s-ish.
In May, we proposed a set of new emoji to the Unicode Technical Committee that represent a wider range of professions for women (as well as men), and reflect the pivotal roles that women play in the world. Since then, we’ve worked closely with members of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee to bring the proposal to life.
Today, the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee has agreed to add 11 new professional emoji, in both male and female options and with all the skin tones. That’s more than 100 new emoji to choose from!
Does This Actually Change Anything?
The argument could be made that giving emojis a female icon is not going to actually give women more of an opportunity (you’d be wrong, they hired women to actually design these) but it isn’t about the immediate gratification of a job.
The idea of including communication options that give gender equality is about normalizing the process and these gender roles.
The debate of do we give jobs to women even if they do not have the same work experience is about having a snap reaction to a situation. Instead, I’d rather discuss why it is okay for us to have this disparaging viewpoint. When we get beyond the guilt, shame, and ignorance, it comes down to culture. “That’s just what I was taught. It didn’t hurt anybody.” Guess what, these emotions are starting to teach something else AND it isn’t hurting anyone.
I love this change and will back it with a passion you haven’t previously seen. I strongly encourage you to use them and use them well. Normalizing women in tech is something that should have happened so long ago and we have so much ground to make up. I hope this is but a starting point for you, your church, and your community towards gender equality.