Getty Images puts women's empowerment in sharp focus at Cannes

Getty Images is showcasing its Lean In collection, which depicts women as confident and powerful, rather than models.

from Getty Images' Lean In collection
from Getty Images' Lean In collection

Getty Images, a Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity sponsor for the last 17 years, is showcasing its Lean In collection at the show.

Women empowerment and how images portray women was the subject of a panel discussion at the festival featuring Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty Images; Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann; and Jessica Bennett, contributing editor at Sheryl Sandberg nonprofit the Lean In Foundation.

Bennett noted that while women are expected to hold 57% of US jobs by 2020, they are four times less likely to be portrayed as job holders than men in stock imagery.

The Lean In collection from Getty Images features 2,500 photos of women portrayed as confident, powerful executives rather than models, holding jobs as diverse as a butcher or artist. Girls are not depicted in pink dresses, but rather as students of math and science and participating in sports.

"Every image sends a message," says Grossman. "It’s so important to show a more modern representation of women, and it’s the responsibility of every business to elevate the image of women. This collection reflects the promise of a more equitable world that shows women as leaders, not models."

In just the last four years imagery viewed using the search term woman, family, and business has evolved  from women passively posed, often covered by a sheet and doing nothing, to an executive woman looking at an iPad, says Grossman.

Getty Images also launched #Repicture, allowing people and creatives at Cannes to share and send images showing what terms like family and love mean to them now. More than 1,000 shots have been sent in.

"Imagery is the universal language of our time, and the creative leaders at Cannes Lions hold the power to repicture and redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us," says Getty Images cofounder and CEO Jonathan Klein.

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