The images of women we see in the media don't always represent the diverse array of things that a woman can be. But Skype's new “Power Women” Mojis and emoticons are trying to change that. Through pictures of women at work, playing sports, being moms, and doing all the many things a woman can do, Skype users can now express themselves more fully in their chats.
A recent Always ad brought attention to the fact that emoji often reinforce stereotypes. The athletes and career-oriented people depicted are mostly men, while emoji of women show them doing hair and nails, dancing, and walking down a wedding aisle. Since this came to light, a proposal for professional women emoji was brought to the Unicode Consortium, and Facebook Messenger added female emoji depicting a police officer, runner, surfer, and other non-stereotypical professions.
And Skype is now also hopping on board and recognizing that the female characters we use in our chats require more diversity. The collection includes emoticons as well as "Mojis," images unique to Skype that also include sound. They show women kicking soccer balls, making a speeches, riding motorcycles, and doing other badass things real women are doing every day.
"These emoticons not only celebrate the vast diversity of our Skype users but also reflect the many roles women have today,” Shinder Dhillon, Senior Director of Microsoft Global Diversity & Inclusion, tells Bustle over email.
Indeed, the majority of women in the United States are part of the workforce, and 70 percent of women with children under 18 are working, according to the Department of Labor. Women are the CEOs of tech companies, professional football players, and groundbreaking scientists. If we want to represent them accurately, pictures of women doing their hair and nails just won't cut it.
If you'd like to use these to tell your family or friends what you've been up to through your Skype chats or show the women in your life that you're thinking of them, you can now find them in the latest version of Skype's Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS apps.
Images: Courtesy of Skype