Today, the Google Doodles Twitter account unveiled a new, updated Google Doodles website, which now lets you filter Google Doodles by year and country. Because Google posts its Doodles on its various websites around the world, and there are many Doodles active in any period of time, it was previously much more difficult to really get a handle on the gender diversity in Google Doodles.
Let’s take a quick look at 2011, specifically the Doodles posted in the United States. So far, in the men’s column, we have:
- Paul Cezanne (honored on January 19, 2011)
- Jules Verne (February 18, 2011)
- Thomas Edison (February 11, 2011)
- Constantin Brancusi (February 19, 2011)
- Will Eisner (March 6, 2011)
- Harry Houdini (March 24, 2011)
- Robert Bunsen (March 31, 2011)
- Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 2011)
- John James Audubon (April 26, 2011)
- Roger Hargreaves (May 9, 2011)
- Richard Scarry (June 5, 2011)
- Les Paul (June 9, 2011)
- Gregor Mendel (July 20, 2011)
- Alexander Calder (July 22, 2011)
- Pierre de Fermat (August 17, 2011)
- Jorge Luis Borges (August 24, 2011)
- Freddie Mercury (September 5, 2011)
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (September 16, 2011)
- Jim Henson (September 24, 2011)
- Art Clokey (October 12, 2011)
- Louis Daguerre (November 18, 2011)
- Mark Twain (November 30, 2011)
- Diego Rivera (December 8, 2011)
- Robert Noyce (December 12, 2011)
I’ve excluded some gendered holidays, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and other gendered events like the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, or of JFK’s inauguration, and focused specifically on people that Google Doodles honored on the anniversary of their birth.
What about the representation of women? Going, once again, chronologically within 2011, we have:
- International Women’s Day (March 8, 2011)
- Mother’s Day (May 8, 2011)
- Martha Graham (May 11, 2011)
- Lucille Ball (August 6, 2011)
- Mary Blair (October 21, 2011)
- Marie Curie (November 7, 2011)
Note that International Women’s Day is not, um, a woman of note, nor is Mother’s Day. But the situation was just way too pathetic without this inclusion!
So, if we’re being as generous as we possibly can, then Google honored 6 women out of 30 Google Doodles in the bulk of 2011. If we’re being more realistic, then Google honored 4 women, and we should also really count John F. Kennedy and Yuri Gagarin, so we’re looking at 26 men and 4 women.
Is that really how Google should be representing the contributions of men and women as creators and innovators?