Women in front with new facebook icons

Facebook has updated its friends icon to place the female icon in front of the male after design manager Caitlin Winner noticed an imbalance in the previous logo.
Winner was looking at the glyph files of the male and female icons shortly after she began working at the social network and noticed that the female had a literal chip on her shoulder.

The chip in the female icon's shoulder
"After a little sleuthing I determined that the chip was positioned exactly where the man icon would be placed in front of her, as in the ‘friends’ icon, above," she wrote in a blog post. "I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration but as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me."
Winner set about redesigning the female icon by evening out her shoulders and creating a more realistic hairstyle from the previous "Darth Vader-like helmet".

Explaining her decision to reposition the woman in front on the man icon, the designer said she found the symbolism of the foreshadowing of the prior arrangement "hard not to read into".
"The woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in," she said. "As a result of this project, I’m on high alert for symbolism. I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar."
Winner's use of lean in is a reference to Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who wrote a book of the same title. Sandberg is a vocal advocate of encouraging women to 'lean in' to their careers and
progress within the workplace.


The newly designed Facebook group logo (R) compared to the previous design on the left
Winner also repositioned the female character within the groups icon, which previously consisted of two male characters, one centered, and a female icon on the right hand side. The new design places the female icon in the middle, flanked by two men.
The new icon designs are being gradually rolled out to desktop and web Facebook users across the world. The social network subtly tweaked its logo and wordmark by changing its font last week.


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