The use of emojis to show expression and emotion over text has become a ridiculously fun and almost universal practice, almost being a texting norm. But have you ever stopped to look at the emojis used to represent professions? Almost all of the professions are shown as male, which raises the question; why aren’t women getting equal emoji time?

Recently, YouTube streamed an ad from the company Always who were asking young girls whether emojis truly represent them. The girls responded by explaining how important it was to have emojis that represent women fairly despite how insignificant that may seem to others. The ad’s purpose of empowering girls through emojis was also aided by the use of the hashtag likeagirl in hopes of bringing confidence to the younger generation of girls. Always is trying to promote girl power generally because many young girls tend to have insecurities and question their own potential.

After the ad was released, I was one of many viewers who realized how blind we can be about gender stereotypes. It’s worth pointing out that dismissing this topic says a lot about the social issues women today have to deal with. Aside from the demeaning overgeneralizations, women are bombarded with labels of all sorts.

The absence of girls in the profession emojis is another example of gender inequality. Always’ campaign has simply brought attention to this issue that challenges the conventional male dominance.

Human emojis should represent the realistic concepts of diversity, including gender equality among all professions. Because emojis are widely implemented in communication through texting and social media, it then becomes even more important to bring change so that young girls don’t continue to set limits on themselves. Something seen as insignificant subconsciously has a detrimental effect.

From a girl’s perspective, it’s degrading to know that women are still not given equal recognition for their contribution in the work force. We are all equally capable and qualified for any occupation. Women deserve more than emojis that just show facial expressions or expectations of being girly. The issue of emojis is just a small battle in the push for equal opportunity.