Let’s play a game: Grab your phone, type ‘ceo’ into a message and see what Apple generates automatically as an option.
It’ll probably look just a little bit like this:
It's interesting -- if not a little giggly -- that Apple suggests you can replace the world CEO with an emoji of a man, not least because according to Mashable 68 per cent of the people who work at Apple are male. But that only 4 per cent of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women. And the internet seems to be falling over itself about this little trick, and in the inherent sexism it implies.
So, is it just bad luck and are we not looking at the bigger picture, or does it say something else about how Apple's emojis are just one more thing skewed towards men in our lifetime? It's genuinely tough to say. Typing in other high-powered positions into your messages, like CFO or CTO and the same prediction generates. A man with a very important tie.
But - again, just bad luck on Apple's part? Maybe, but also maybe not. So far, it's not a great look, and one that's already gone viral for exactly the reason you think.
So maybe it's time to try something else. Like, say, "doctor".
Hmmm, right. There's that man again and that very important tie.
OK, so, what about police? Not gendered, not a policeman or a policewoman but simply "police".
Naturally, by this point, you think you've got the name of the game worked out. Except, actually we don't. Because this is where Apple starts to throw the odd spanner in the works, and this is where those people outraged over the CEO predication stopped typing.
It's time to type in "nurse". Of course, you're thinking, it'll be a female. (That is if Apple continue their stereotypical tendencies to err on the side of male equals masculine.) But we have... a man... instead?
What about teacher then? Surely, in a more general sense, women are considered the teachers of the world?
Not this time.
In all of the jobs we've typed, no females have popped up in our game, but that's also not necessarily a bad thing. So far, a male nurse is pretty diverse, as is a male teacher. That's good for the world, so there are no complaints about that from this end.
Let's try "scientist".
The last three are telling of a much more diverse story. Absolutely, the fact that Apple predicts a CEO as a man is a pretty deflating fact. But all we have to do is a digger bit deeper and see that they also predict females as astronauts. So the world's not all bad.