Until recently, some of the images stock photo sites returned for certain search terms were disappointing, inaccurate, or downright offensive. Take this result Editor Holly got on an iStock search:
But it looks like they’ve finally started to sort themselves out. Getty Images, owners of iStock, have increased the number of images in their Lean In Collection in partnership with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s non-profit LeanIn.org. The Lean In Collection attempts to reverse gendered clichés by depicting women as they actually are in society today – empowered and diverse. The project started last year and has since grown to hold 6000 images licensed across 65 countries.
The collection features women in their workplaces, involved in sports and other activities, with a focus on depicting them in fields where men have traditionally played the main iStock role such as engineering, tech, and business. The collection also features men in nurturing roles, and photos of LGBT couples and families. The image results for ‘Feminisim’ are certainly more encouraging than before.
There are also more images available freely on Flickr under Creative Commons thanks to the grassroots initiative #WOCInTechChat. #WOCInTechChat started as a chat on Twitter where women and non-binary people of colour could discuss issues and share job opportunities.
A glaringly obvious issue was that there was a lack of stock images depicting the multitudes of women of colour working in the field of technology, driving co-founders Christina Morillo and Stephanie Morillo to organise a photo shoot and provide the images that were direly needed themselves.
It’s about time we had images that more accurately reflect the diversity of the world we live in, to empower women and people of colour, rather than perpetuate misrepresentation and underrepresentation.
Main Image via Flickr © WOCInTech Chat