Sheryl Sandberg and Getty Images Want Stock Photos to Be a Little Less Sexist


By Patrick Coffee Comment

Here’s a story that most people working in digital media should appreciate.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook/Lean In—or someone in her employ—recently noticed that the existing stock image catalog doesn’t offer a whole lot of variety when it comes to professional womenNew York magazine recently made light of this fact, but we’ll just present the “public relations professional woman” below (and this pic is relatively tame):


Looks like they have a point.

Now click through for an example of Getty Images‘ new and improved stock pics from yesterday’s New York Times slideshow


That’s kind of refreshing.

The Lean In/Getty collaboration didn’t just address all those uber-sexy images: it also created “folders of women” with contemporary fashions in more believable office and home environments. Getty says the move was necessary because of the surge in visually-focused campaigns and sites aimed at mobile users, many of whom happen to be female.

This will be great news for those business/media bloggers who rely on stock images (aka all of ‘em), not to mention agencies and consultants seeking more appealing images for their pages.

While we’re on the topic, we do love us some stock photos—but we have noticed that every pic tagged “public relations professional” resembles a well-dressed telemarketing team:


Also: these “professionals” are a little old for standardized testing, no?


So what we’re saying is kudos to Sandberg. It needed to happen.