Feminist group wants Google to correct the imbalance in their doodles

I don’t think there’s anything malicious going on here, but there does seem to be a trend, a trend in the wrong direction. First, some facts from the linked article:

  • Google celebrated 445 individuals in Doodles on its various homepages throughout the world.
  • An overwhelming 357 of those people were men–and 275 of those men were white.
  • 77 Doodles celebrated women–but only 19 celebrated women of color.
  • There were zero women of color honored in a global Doodle (Doodles seen everywhere around the world) until 2013, when Ella Fitzgerald was featured.
  • Although women make up more than 50% of the world’s population, they’ve made up only 17% of Google Doodles honoring people from 2010 to 2013.
  • White people made up 91% of global Doodles and 74% of total Doodles honoring people from 2010 to 2013.
  • Of the 26% of Doodles honoring people of color, only 18% honored women of color–that’s only 4.3% of every Doodle honoring a person from 2010 to 2013.

Follow the headline link for a chart that brings this all into focus.

What’s going on here Google? This point has been made before. From an open letter to Google written by PhD student Ann Martin in 2011:

For years, I have watched Google Doodles contribute to the viewpoint that it is men who create the world we live in and innovate to improve it. I continued to hope that Google would recognize and address this obvious bias. Because you have not spoken up for the women in STEM, creativity, innovation, the arts, and the humanities, I am speaking up for us.

Again, this letter was published in 2011. Since then the numbers have gotten worse. You are better than this, Google.