These three Unilever employees took actions to tackle outdated stereotypes in their workplace. The impact has seen each one become a game-changer for gender equality.
In partnership with the largest international stock photo distributor, Getty Images, and Girlgaze – a collective of female-identifying and non-binary photographers – Dove is building the world’s largest stock photo library of its kind. The move builds on its commitment to share a more inclusive vision of beauty.
A year in the making, the collection – currently 5,000 images strong and continually growing – is created exclusively by women, female-identifying and non-binary individuals and is available now for the media and advertising industries to view, license and use.
“What’s so important about this particular campaign is that we’ve been able to highlight and photograph women and girls all over the world who don’t generally get seen,” says Amanda de Cadenet, Founder and CEO, Girlgaze.
“As image professionals, we have the responsibility to authentically reflect society and to help trigger social change,” adds Dr Rebecca Swift, Director of Creative Insights at Getty Images.
Here Dove’s Global Vice President Sophie Galvani tells us more about the purpose behind the project.
What sparked the idea for Project #ShowUs?
70% of women taking part in a recent global Dove study told us they still don’t feel represented in the images they see every day. Images in ads and the media still impose unrealistic standards and limiting stereotypes which present a narrow view of who women are, what they should look like and what they can achieve. It affects their lives, health, relationships and the opportunities they are given. We wanted to drive deep systemic change.
What’s the ambition?
This is much more than a collection of photos. Together with Getty Images and Girlgaze, we aim to create a global movement, redefining how women are represented and setting a new standard for the authentic and diverse representation of women across the world.
How does this align with Dove’s own brand purpose?
Dove’s brand purpose is to make a positive experience of beauty universally accessible to every woman. To achieve this, we need to ensure every woman feels seen and represented in the world of beauty. Dove has showcased diversity for over 60 years; however, to make real systemic change we simply cannot do it alone. Dove and women from 39 countries around the world have now made a fresh and truly representative alternative available for all brands, advertisers and the media to use. There is no longer any excuse for showcasing only certain types of beauty.
What makes Project #ShowUs unique?
For the first time on Getty Images, every one of the 179 people photographed for the collection has personally defined their own search descriptions and tags for their pictures. This allows them to define their beauty in their own way, on their own terms, ensuring they feel realistically represented. This project is 100% powered by women, depicted as they are in real life, with absolutely no digital distortion.
Why is now the right time for this movement?
Our research shows that 67% of women want brands to step up and take responsibility for the stock imagery they use. On Getty Images’ online library, the search term ‘real people’ has increased by 192% over the past year. Searches for the term ‘women leaders’ are up 202%, ‘diverse women’ by 168% and ‘strong women’ by 187%. There’s a huge need for stock imagery to include women in progressive, real and empowering scenarios.
Thousands of Project #ShowUs images are available. What’s next?
It’s up to all of us to expand how we are portrayed. We are now inviting media and advertisers to license these images and join us to take real tangible action by using them in their upcoming projects. We are also offering women around the world the opportunity to become part of the change and add their images to the library. In addition, 10% of every image licensed helps support female-identifying photographers and grow the collection further.
Now all media and advertisers can reflect the authentic experiences of women around the world.
How can people get involved?
From the farmers who pick our tea leaves to the shoppers who choose our brands and our employees, we aim to empower women at every point of our value chain. To mark International Women’s Day today, here are just a few examples of how we’re working with them to do so.
To address today’s global challenges, we need a new way of leading. One that is more inclusive, where women and men have an equal share in positions of leadership.