The Leanin Collection Offers Diverse, Feminist, Stock Photos.
The thing about working in or with media is that cultural biases and inequities can show up just about everywhere. While we’ve integrated the workplace (to an extent) there are so many facets of our media that haven’t caught up for a variety of reasons. Searching for stock photography, for example, can often be quite a ride. Among the silly, strange, or simply overly posed images, lies plenty of sexism and exclusion. I’ve experienced this firsthand when looking for images of black women.
Getty Images, working in collaboration with the LeanIn Foundation, a women’s empowerment nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg is working to change this with the “LeanIn Collection“. The “LeanIn Collection” features of 2,500 diverse and feminist stock images created with contemporary women in mind. Proceeds from the collection will go towards Getty Images grants for female empowerment and to help the foundation further its goals.
According to the collection’s curator Jessica Bennett, when it comes to sexism in stock photography, it’s a number’s game:
“It’s reality; it’s just not shitty. The larger problem is that the majority of art directors and the majority of photographers are men. I read in Fast Company that only 3 percent of creative directors are women, and then we know what the numbers look like in Hollywood and journalism. It’s one thing up against the next and you get this chain reaction and ultimately you end up with a Time magazine cover about Hillary Clinton illustrated with a high-heel shoe squashing a man.”
Hopefully this collection will inspire image makers on other venues as well.