May 21st: Mary Anning!

Today, a globally-posted Google Doodle honors famed British paleontologist Mary Anning, credited with key fossil discoveries from the Jurassic era. Here, we’ll learn a bit more about Anning, her career, and her contributions to science.

The Doodle celebrating the birth of Mary Anning, posted May 21st, 2014.

The Doodle celebrating the birth of Mary Anning, posted May 21st, 2014.

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Doodle-Worthy Women of April 2014

I’m quite late this month, having not carved out time to write a Doodle-Worthy Women of April post. This morning, as I was reviewing Doodle statistics for the year to date, I realized why I wasn’t feeling the rush. So far, 49% of all Doodles posted in 2014 have honored women — and if you just look at the United States, that number shoots up to an astonishing 78%!

That progress is incredible and I think it shows that the Doodles team has finally woken up to reality. They’ve realized that they’ve done a terrible job of including women in their list of honorees, and I think they’ve also realized that history is a treasure trove of incredible contributions from women. If they keep this record up, they’ll be doing an admirable job of speaking up and out for women.

This month, I’ve decided to break with the tradition that I’ve started here at Speaking Up, because the Doodles team themselves have already done the work for me of identifying Doodle-Worthy Women. Today, I’ll write about 3 women who were honored with Doodles in April of 2014, all of them literary giants:

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May 12th: Dorothy Hodgkin!

Today’s Google Doodle honors Dorothy Hodgkin, a Nobel Prize-winning British chemist born on this date in 1910. Speaking Up first wrote about Hodgkin last year, as one of our May honorees for the Doodle-Worthy Women series.

The Google Doodle celebrating the birth of Dorothy Hodgkin, posted May 12, 2014.

The Google Doodle celebrating the birth of Dorothy Hodgkin, posted May 12, 2014.

Today, let’s take another look at this illustrious scientist.

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May 4th: Audrey Hepburn!

Things have been pretty quiet around here at Speaking Up — because things have also been quiet for Google Doodles, at least in the United States. I’m very happy to announce the Doodle that drew me back to the Speaking Up project:

Today, Google is honoring the incomparable Audrey Hepburn, about whom I first wrote back on May 4th, 2012. Two years later, her 85th birthday (she was born May 4, 1929) has brought her to the front page of the most visited website in the world.

A Google Doodle honoring Audrey Hepburn, posted on May 4th, 2014.

A Google Doodle honoring Audrey Hepburn, posted on May 4th, 2014.

Below the fold, I’ll share the same enthusiastic endorsement of Hepburn’s Doodle-worthiness that I wrote in 2012.

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Doodle-Worthy Women of February 2014

February was a good month for gender representation in Google Doodles. Here in the U.S., Harriet Tubman was honored and 50% of the month’s Doodles were dedicated to women. Around the world, Doodles honored Raicho Hiratsuka, Clara Campoamor, Sarojini Naidu, and Gabriele Münter. That’s exactly what I want to see!

Here are a few more of the Doodle-Worthy Women whose birthdays fall in February:

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Gender Distribution in Google Doodles: 2013 Year in Review

2013 came to an end a little over a month ago, but in that time, the Google team has kept me plenty busy with a series of Doodles honoring women. And that’s an interesting start to a new year, following one in which Google really improved their record on gender representation — but they still have a lot to do. I’m of several minds here: I’m genuinely pleased with the improvement, but well aware that it takes conscious and long-term effort for projects like the Doodles to make lasting change when it comes to gender bias. And I’m also well aware that the strides made in 2013 still fall far short of 50% gender parity, and that 12 years of Doodles was too long to wait to make a commitment to equity. This is a step in the right direction, but the work is not done.

Let’s look at how Doodles dealt with their dismal gender record in 2013, both here in the U.S. and around the world.

(For more information on my methodology and approach to counting male and female individuals honored with a Doodle, check out this post from summer 2012. There is one significant update: this year, there were some Doodles that were shown in most countries except in the United States. Google’s “Finder” service has recently started categorizing some such Doodles as “Global,” adding a complication to my stats — in the past, only Doodles that were truly shown on every Google homepage were listed that way. I’ve tried to carefully keep track, but it’s possible I’ve made a mistake or two! Contact me if you are interested in the dataset that I use to build this site’s gender statistics.)

Click below the fold for the 2013 year in review.

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