Advertising is at a moment of change. A moment when we must tackle the inequality in our workplaces across gender, race, sexuality and class, and a moment that is strengthened by the global call for equal and just treatment across many other industries.
As members of the advertising community, we know there’s a lot that needs to shift and we know that no one initiative that can cover it all. That’s why we’re using our expertise to make a difference in the area that we know best - photography.
After looking through the books of over 70 leading commercial photography agents, we found that women accounted for less than 25% of those represented. This finding chimed with our experience - in our roles as art buyers, producers and creatives we’ve seen many talented women photographers miss out on big commercial commissions because their names aren’t on our lists or because clients see a risk in commissioning commercial first-timers.
Redressing the gender imbalance in commercial photography is more than the right thing to do, it’s what we need to do. Excluding women narrows the pool of photographers and the creativity that our industry needs to thrive. And it robs photography of a much-needed perspective in a market where women shoppers make up to 85% of all consumer purchases.
Inspired by Free The Bid (Free The Work), we are calling for agencies to pledge to include women and men in every photographer's list. We are encouraging clients and agencies to request and produce inclusive lists. And to make these lists easier, we are championing the work of women photographers on our website and beyond.
Together, we can give women and non-binary photographers an equal shot.