If you've ever looked at stock photography of career women, used everywhere from websites to promotional materials, then you've probably noticed that women who work are often depicted doing the ridiculous. Whether it's sprouting eight arms, wearing boxing gloves or smiling at their salad, the examples are numerous -- and silly. If you look at photos targeted specifically toward women attorney the results are even dumber, i.e., "lawyer woman with gun."
Who does that?
Getty Images' Lean In Collection
Getty Images and LeanIn.Org jointly curated a series of images called the Lean In Collection, "a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them." With "over 2,500 images of female leadership in contemporary work and life," some of the proceeds will go "toward the creation of Getty Images grants for images showcasing female empowerment and to supporting the mission of LeanIn.Org." One look at these images shows a refreshingly modern -- and realistic -- view of what it means to be a woman.
The Lean In collection also improves the image of fatherhood. Rather than emasculating men with children, the images show confident men who also play a role in child care, and supporting the women in their lives.
So what does that have to do with your law firm? Everything. Here's how to incorporate some of the lessons from Getty Images Lean In Collection into marketing and supporting your practice.
1. Review Promotional Materials
If you've ever had to print a brochure, pamphlet or other promotional material, then you have likely used stock imagery. Here's a chance to update your materials by showcasing truly realistic photos of professional people. Select your stock photos wisely, as pictures will the first thing to grab a viewers attention -- be sure to pick photos that will hold their attention -- not alienate them. Read: No boxing gloves required.
2. Review Online Materials
Not only do you need to review your firm's print materials, but also review all online imagery on the firm's website and social media accounts. If you're using stock imagery find images that convey intelligence, honesty, and leadership. Read: No women in heels climbing ladders.
3. Practice What You Preach
If you don't use stock images, and take your own photos (or even better, hire a photographer), take a cue from the look of the Lean In Collection's images rather than perpetuating ridiculous stereotypes. Don't hire models, but use real people; Photograph them actually working, not in silly poses. Read: No holding the scales of justice.
Unfortunately, perception is reality when it comes to marketing. The imagery we use conveys a lot about your firm's practices. Rather than using photos that are outdated, and to some people offensive, try to update the look of your firm's marketing materials to reflect more realistic images of women -- and men -- lawyers.
How will you update your firm's marketing materials? Let us know on Facebook for FindLaw for Legal Professionals.
- LeanIn.org and Getty Aim to Change Women's Portrayal in Stock Photos (The New York Times)
- How Women Can Help Women Succeed in Law (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Lean In, Lean Out -- Stop Telling Me Which Way to Lean (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Soaring Child Care Costs -- What Your Firm Can Do To Help (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)