The Changing Face of Women

Tattooed woman holding baby

Say what you will about Sheryl Sandberg, her organization Lean In, is working with Getty images to add thousands of pictures to their database that better represent the changing face of women in the workplace (and men’s stepped up roles at home).

According to the New York Times, the three most-searched terms in Getty’s image database are “women,” “business” and “family.” Yet, images of  women climbing up a ladder, briefcase in hand in are hopelessly out of date. (And I’m not just talking about the shoulder padded navy suit.) I’m quite excited to see these images being put into use in magazine articles and advertisements. Here’s a few of them below.

Girls and technology

Older woman in a meeting

Ethnic business woman with long hair

African American woman doing business

Older man braiding young girls's hair

Reversed gender roles

What do you think? Do these images accurately reflect how the roles of women and men have evolved? Did they go far enough?

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10 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Women”

  1. Nancy Ariss

    Hello Jody – Great images (a picture truly is worth a thousand words). Women are shifting in their worlds in which we work, play and create. Thanks for sharing…

    1. Thanks for commenting, Nancy. Yes, I totally agree. We are shifting in the world and this expansion needs to be reflected.

  2. Kim W (@saidkim)

    I used to work in publishing. A large part of my job was selecting images for books. It would have been nice to have some of these “less traditional” images to choose from. That said, I am somewhat annoyed that these images are still being considered an exception, rather than just a norm. Why isn’t it be normal to see images like this, images that resemble the lives we really live? While I guess it’s commendable for Getty to be offering these images, I can’t help but be annoyed by the fanfare and kudos Getty is receiving by offering something they should have offered decades ago. If they were really trying to be progressive, rather than simply catering to the demands of their customers (which as clear as “women, business and family” are three of their most searched terms), these images would already be a mainstay of their collection.

    1. You’re right, Kim. Why are these images considered the exception and not the norm? It’s a shame Lean In had to initiate this after so many years of outdated shots, despite what Getty’s customers were asking for.

  3. I agree with Kim W. This should be the rule because this is LIFE. I guess baby steps are at least still steps.

  4. Robin @ Farewell Stranger

    I like the images, and I do think they better represent women (plus, they’re less cheesy than the high heels and ladders shots). I’ve heard some interesting commentary about this project, including the director (I think) being interviewed on Q on CBC. She was saying that they’re hoping other stock photo companies take up the call and do better too. I’d like to see that, because I think that’s the only way for this to really make a difference. It needs to become the norm.

  5. some of them do and some don’t. the ones with kids I think still place women in a “mother” role which may look different than 20 years ago but I would like to see more of the women as leaders and thinkers, or where it is clear the mother is in an office rather than at home. I love the one of the dad styling hair.

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