Emoji Power

Emoji Power

By Tina Vossugh

Emoji courtesy of Google
The (emoji) future is female. 

In 2016, Agustin Fonts ’08 and his team at Google looked at the emojis offered on their phones and were bothered by their depictions of women: dancers, princesses, a bride, lipstick, and painted nails. “We thought, ‘This doesn’t match the world or Google,’” he said. Fonts, a product manager at Google, manages the operating system elements that provide app developers what they need to build user interfaces in Android, including text and emojis. So he and the Android design team set out to fix the outdated gender representation. The team proposed 11 new female emojis in industries ranging from farming, manufacturing, health care, tech, and business. There’s even a rock star. Months after the emojis went live, Fonts saw a young girl on the Google campus wearing a T-shirt from The Gap featuring all 11 new female emojis, which he thought was awesome. “It’s empowering girls—even little ones,” he says.

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