Teen draws diversity-minded Google Doodle

It’s not every day that someone sees their drawing featured on Google, but for 15-year-old Sarah Harrison, that day came on March 31.

According to Teen Vogue, the Connecticut student entered a Google Doodle competition that asked students to submit their vision for the future; called A Peaceful Future, Harrison’s entry “depicts people of different identities smiling with their arms around one another,” which graced the Google search page last Friday. But that’s not all she received.

Teen Vogue reports that Harrison’s winning doodle also earned her a college scholarship worth $30,000, as well as the opportunity to work alongside the Google Doodle team in California — not to mention a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant is awarded her Connecticut school as a result of her talents.

But for Harrison, the opportunity was all about promoting a future with less hate and more love.

“My future is a world where we can all learn to love each other despite our religion, gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality,” Harrison shared in a statement on Google’s website, according to Teen Vogue. “I dream of a future where everyone is safe and accepted wherever they go, whoever they are.”

Congratulations, Sarah!

Gender-equal emojis get approval

Emojis just got a little more inclusive, thanks to a recent decision by the Unicode Consortium.

According to Glamour, Google announced on Thursday, July 14 that “a new set of emoji[s] that will represent a wider range of professions for both women and men has just been approved by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee that oversees emoji creation.”

Proposed back in May, the new line consists of 11 emojis in a variety of professions that appear as both male and female, while also coming in a spectrum of skin tones, reports Glamour.

The new emojis also go a step further, offering female alternatives to the traditionally-male characters and vice versa; Glamour says that there will soon be female versions of the “male police officer, runner, cyclist, or private investigator,” while men will also be depicted get a haircut or “giving a sassy palm up reaction.”

So who’s to thank for the new gender-equal emojis? Engineers Rachel Been, Agustin Fonts, Nicole Bleuel, according to BuzzFeed — and of course, Google and the Unicode Consortium.

While Glamour reports that the release date for the new characters is still unknown, this is definitely a positive step in promoting gender equality in a small, but significant way.

Google proposes empowering female emojis

With a 79-cent wage disparity between men and women in the workplace, it’s no surprise that equality in the business world is still fought-for ideal. But there is even a difference in the way the genders are portrayed professionally in animation.

Enter Google, which has just proposed a new line of emojis that portray women in a variety of careers, reports the USA Today. The collection includes 13 new characters with a “goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere,” according to Google’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium for the new emojis.

While there are currently upwards of 1,000 standardized emojis used worldwide, CNN Money points out that “the current emoji selection feels implicitly sexist, showing men running and policing while women dance and cut their hair.”

In their proposal, Google wrote on the decision to create the emojis: “Given the fact that women are the most frequent emoji users, and that they span a wide professional spectrum not yet reflected in current emoji, we want to help address this pressing matter of equality.”

Acting on this, Google created new characters that depict women as farmers, rock stars, doctors, and even software engineers. While it is not yet confirmed that these emojis will get the green light for a wide release, CNN Money says that their chances look promising.

“One author of the Google submission — Mark Davis — is also the president and co-founder of the Unicode Consortium, which could make it more likely that the proposal will be approved.”

Whether or not the consortium sees a need for the new emojis, Google seems to stand by their decision to craft the new characters:

“No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” Google argued in the proposal. “Isn’t it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?”