When I searched through years of Doodles and counted, Google has honored 160 “notable” people. Only 16 of those people were women. 10%.
I analyzed further, focusing on Global and US Doodles. There were 49 notable men and 3 notable women. Really? Only THREE? That’s not even 6% of all US and Global Doodles.
Until recently I haven't had the time to redo the numbers, but I'd kept an eye on the Doodles. Some of my favorites from the past few years include American choreographer and dancer Martha Graham, Queen front man Freddie Mercury, and Indian "mental calculator" Shakuntala Devi.
But let's get down to brass tacks. How has Google Doodle done since my last count back in April 2011? I'm happy to say they have improved in their representation of women.
Now, Google still has room for improvement. What they really need is a year focused on equitable representation. When I look at the numbers for 2013, I counted five instances of 10 or more consecutive Doodles dedicated to men. The longest consecutive streak for women-specific Doodles is 3 in a row. I mean, you managed to make a Doodle for a dog last year (yes, I counted him in the male numbers), and while I have nothing against Hachikō, I do think that before you start paying homage to canines you should try just a teensy bit harder when it comes to female human beings.
Come on, Google. Is it that hard to think of women to honor? There are thousands of writers, activists, musicians, chemists, painters, anthropologists, and more. How about singer Nina Simone on February 22nd? Or Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral on April 7th? Anne Frank's birthday is June 12th. Certainly you have enough time to plan for Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low's birthday on October 31st, or author Madeleine L'Engle's birthday on November 29th. Why not dedicate a month or two in 2014 to women-inspired Doodles?