Like A Boss...Lady
April 13, 2014 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Getty Images launched the “Lean In Collection” Monday in partnership with LeanIn.org, featuring more than in contemporary work and life. Lean In and Getty Images partner to create a collection of positive, power images of women. “The most important thing for us is that you felt like 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," says Pam Grossman director of visual trends at Getty Images.
posted by WalkerWestridge (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
bad link?
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 2:55 PM on April 13, 2014


First link is bad.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:56 PM on April 13, 2014




Lean In Collection? What an opportunistic Bullshit.
posted by homodigitalis at 3:23 PM on April 13, 2014 [22 favorites]


Totally. Why can't this replace the Standard Women stock photos, which should be archived for posterity in a collection called 'ye olde views of women'?
posted by Dashy at 3:29 PM on April 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


[fixed link, carry on. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:30 PM on April 13, 2014


Quick tag search:

3 x Engineer
47 x Science
57 x Doctor
286 x Home
180 x Mother
152 x Domestic

Someone's gender biases are showing.
posted by arcticseal at 3:33 PM on April 13, 2014 [13 favorites]


Wait, women are people?
posted by tula at 3:33 PM on April 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Lean In Collection? What an opportunistic Bullshit.

Believe me I get this response, and I was prepared to feel the same way.

I am absolutely mortified to report that I found many of these to be very moving.

Although I wish they hadn't had to be "branded," as it were.
posted by sophieblue at 3:37 PM on April 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gee, I saw no one smiling while eating a salad and wearing workout gear. I guess it's a start, isn't it?
[/sarcasm]
posted by droplet at 3:47 PM on April 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wait, women are people?

Yeah, I hear they may get the right to vote or something...

But seriously, is this 1983? Didn't we cover this with Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves and a few feel good After School Specials? I am sure The Facts of Life had the very special episode and everything.

Did these people just get the memo now? Do they know about the Internet?
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:03 PM on April 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


286 x Home
180 x Mother
152 x Domestic


I'm not seeing these categories, but I am seeing a lot of images of -- yes, really -- fathers with their kids. One of them is even loading a washing machine! But Sheryl Sandberg is involved, it has to be bad somehow.

Did these people just get the memo now? Do they know about the Internet?

By "these people", I assume you mean the people who are responsible for choosing the stock images of women that we normally see in the media (the aforementioned "smiling while eating salad", the "mean working mom in power suit with sad toddler")?
posted by Ralston McTodd at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't understand. I couldn't find a single image of a woman wearing boxing gloves or carrying a folder, or preferably both. How am I to know if these women are strong and/or intelligent???
posted by billiebee at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


As somebody who actually uses stock photos, it's a very real issue, and I don't really care how they brand it.

And s someone else noted, the reason there are more "domestic" photos than "engineer" photos is that their domestic photos include all people in home settings, including men and kids. Counting tags is tempting, but doesn't actually tell you much.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 4:15 PM on April 13, 2014 [16 favorites]


As somebody who actually uses stock photos, it's a very real issue, and I don't really care how they brand it.


Yep. This is something we needed.
posted by sweetkid at 4:19 PM on April 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because I was one of the few women at X big STEM company, I was asked to pose for some photos for their recruiters' pamphlets & career page. The first thing they did was separate me from the group of guys also asked to pose. Then they set me in the following situations: an older white male obviously helping me, sitting at a conference table listening to a presentation with a pad of paper in front of me (while none of the guys had one, so I looked like a secretary) and yep, eating salad sitting in front of some lab equipment. When I threw a fit, the photographers brought up a bunch of similar stock images and told me they were they trying to take photos of situations that would make women feel comfortable applying to the company.

I said, no, you're trying to take photos that reduce me and make men feel more comfortable about applying to a company because it looks like the women know their place. Why don't you try taking photos of me in a) the same situations as you posed the guys, and b) actually doing my job?

It was a huge fight, but they acquiesced. Turned out they had put the guys in front of big pipes and other big equipment/machinery dressed in orange suits and hard hats. (No subliminal messages there, haha!) But that wouldn't work for me (according to them) because women don't like to get dirty or mess up their hair. According to their market research - aka stock photos - this wasn't how women liked to view themselves.

The photos of me just doing my job were also unusable, because it showed me surrounded by guys all the time, including a huge meeting where it was obvious there at least 50 guys in the room and I was the only woman, and that wasn't very "welcoming." Also in another one I was "dirty". Also I smiled too much. Also I was too tall (yes) so the lone photo they had of a few guys listening to me didn't "work out." In my everyday job, I just "didn't have the look they were going for" to show what it was like working for that company.

Everything kept going back to those goddamn stock photos they had, and similar pictures from similar companies. They didn't get it. They didn't get any of it. In the end, they had a model come in and took pics of her doing what I wouldn't. They did take a photo of her in a hard hat....she was carrying a bunch of rolled up papers and gesticulating to a non-white male. So yeah, count me in the "I don't give a shit what they call it" camp.
posted by barchan at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2014 [106 favorites]


My experience in a big company with software engineers, is that it was actually the Indian women and men who wanted to promote me. And Australian and Chinese. The American men and women did everything they could to keep me in my place.

My group was multi-national, and they invited me to the meetings, they had me going to classes to learn web design, they included me as part of their team. We had parties for Diwali, for Lunar New Year, picnics where all were included... we were a family. I did my best to help everyone, not just my boss, but all of the people who were here in the U.S. on assignment. I was like their mother away from home. I was their friend and also my bosses wanted to promote me away from administrative assistant to web designer and graphic designer, still assisting folks here on assignment, but not having to do international travel arrangement, visas, correspondence, answering phones, copying, arranging international conference calls, meeting rooms, parties, emails, adhering to company policies on human resources reporting, confidential PowerPoint presentations, etc.

Then my boss got transferred to Singapore and the corporate shark feeding began. Lean in, indeed. I leaned in, and I did four jobs for the price of one, and then I got my head bit off. The new guy told me I was a piece of shit and how dare I think that I could ever get ahead in that company without a degree. Then he brought in someone else to do 1/4 of my job for $90,000 a year. Lean In? No thanks. Know people and are rich already? Sure!!! Bring it!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:48 PM on April 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


Such gym; very science.

Most of the photos also reek to me of money.

And yet ... more is more. So, there's that.
posted by allthinky at 7:29 PM on April 13, 2014


This collection raises money for lean in. That's great, right?

It costs more money to license the images. Getty is really giving till it hurts, here.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:14 PM on April 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did someone find Mitt Romney's binder of women?
posted by locidot at 9:33 PM on April 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


So, I just did a full site stock photo search of the word "woman" and I have one question... Who is using all of these stock photos of naked women and couples having sex?
posted by Skwirl at 11:47 PM on April 13, 2014


I've never quite grokked if everyone is hating on/dislining Lean In stuff because it's Sheryl's... or if it's because the whole "woman group" thing. Enlighten me?

Also, as an avid user of stock photography, I really try not to. Stock images are 90% warped reality, 0.8% weird and 0.2% "oh this I might be able to use".
posted by dabitch at 5:54 AM on April 14, 2014


Stock photographers try to photograph anything that they think will sell, which means there's a lot of inertia: well this-woman-eating-yogurt photo sold well for Joe Photographer, so I'll try to shoot a better photo to get a piece of that market.

I think this is a great step in trying to steer things in the right direction. If the photos in this curated group do well hopefully more will follow, and we'll start seeing more positive and forward thinking depictions of women at work and less 50's stereotypes.

To illustrate how far we have to go, this is the first image that includes a woman when you search for "boss" on istockphoto.
posted by ztdavis at 8:43 AM on April 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


But hey if you search 'woman boss' you get this as your first hit!
posted by Erasmouse at 8:56 AM on April 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh wow, that "woman boss" photo Erasmouse linked is pretty awful. Would you ever see a photo of a "man boss" in which the viewer looks down at the subject?
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 9:45 AM on April 14, 2014


Would you ever see a photo of a "man boss" in which the viewer looks down at the subject?

Yeah, you would.

But yeah. Totally douche.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2014


Who is using all of these stock photos of naked women and couples having sex?

Erotica writers making covers for their ebooks. Seriously. I have a friend whose artist husband does her covers, and I've spent an amusing couple of hours helping her browse the "sexy" stock photos for something fitting.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:19 PM on April 14, 2014


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