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A small step by Facebook, a big step for gender equality

Shweta Sengar | Updated on: 8 July 2015, 18:44 IST

Did you notice the 'friends' icon on top of the Facebook bar? If not, login now to your Facebook account and take a look.

You might notice that Facebook has changed the icon of its 'friends' button.

How does the icon look like now?

The old icon had a man in the front with a woman behind him. On the other hand, the new icon has a woman in the front with a man behind her. The hairstyle of the woman as well as the man has also been changed.

In a post on Medium, Caitlin Winner, Facebook's design manager, wrote that she was offended by the small chip on the woman's shoulder in the design and thought of redesigning the icon.

She writes:

"As a woman, educated at a women's college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in."

"I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar," she writes.

"For example, is the briefcase the best symbol for 'work'? Which population carried briefcases and in which era? What are other ways that 'work' could be symbolized and what would those icons evoke for the majority of people on Earth?"

What else?

Not only the 'friends' icon is changed, but if you take a closer look at the 'groups' icon, you would see that a woman is now placed in the front.

First published: 8 July 2015, 16:33 IST