I just did a search for "working woman" on a popular stock photography site, and got photos of women in pantsuits wielding brick-sized cellphones, photos of women pouting sexily while adjusting their glasses, and not much else. Stock photography is easily accessible and way cheaper than hiring a photographer to produce images for a brochure or an ad or a website, but it is rife with stereotypes.
Getty Images and Sheryl Sandberg's LeanIn.org have partnered to produce a collection of images that represent women and families in more empowering ways. Sure, you've got the woman in the pantsuit, but there's also a tattooed mom holding her baby and typing on her laptop. There's a woman mountain climber, a dad holding his daughter in a baby carrier, and—get ready to clutch your pearls, stock photography users—a woman wearing jeans in the office.
The jointly curated Lean In Collection has more than 2,500 visuals "celebrating powerful images of women, girls and the communities who support them," Getty says in a statement. "The collection will serve as a resource for marketers, advertisers and media for use in their campaigns and communications. It arrives in time for Women's History Month and the one-year anniversary of the publication of Sandberg's best-selling book Lean In."
While stock photography may seem like a nonissue, Sandberg notes, "You can't be what you can't see. In an age where media are all around us, it is critical that images provide examples that both women and men can emulate."
More photos below. (Credits: Andreas Kuehn; Thomas Barwick; Betsie Van Der Meer; no credit; Cavan Images; Image Source.)