“ In diversity there is beauty and there is strength” are the wise words of the infamous poet, Maya Angelou. Sheryl Sandberg, and Getty Images, clearly believe in the same principle as Angelou as they have teamed up to create an entire new collection of diverse stock photos. Stock photos have always been a source of humor for myself, e.g, Women Laughing Alone with Salad, yet their stale consistency and lack of variety is a problem. According to an article on Jezebel, Sandberg and Getty Images desire to change this by portraying greater diversity in business stock photos.
Sandberg states in an 2014 interview with the New York Times that “”When we see images of women and girls and men, they often fall into the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome, and you can’t be what you can’t see”. Equal representation is imperative, especially when the media rarely showcases any type of diversity.
An article on Buzzfeed details the origins of this project between Getty Images and Sandberg’s Leanin project. According to Buzzfeed, it all started with a study commissioned by Getty Image’s, Director of Visual Trends, Pam Grossman. The study consisted of analyzing the “changes in representation of women and girls in the media”,and after finding some interesting results, Grossman showed them to Sandberg. The article contained an additional quote from Grossman stating why the project was so important to her: “This is such a big passion project for all of us, and cheesy as it sounds, by showing people powerful images of women, we thought maybe we could actually change the world,”
I love Grossman and Sandberg’s vision and their take on bringing more diversity into the world. Stock photos are used frequently, especially in the business world, so it will be a refreshing change to see more images that challenge the cookie cutter norm. Grossman and Sandberg promise to include images in which” the woman had agency, not like the image was happening to her, but she was the protagonist of her own story — they all should feel like the hero of their image,” according to Grossman. This project is so exciting and I cannot wait to see if any changes are made in the future. Will this help change the way women are photographed in the future? Will their be criticism for Grossman and Sandberg’s vision? Let me know what you guys think!