Last week I did a Google search for images of ‘female’ CEOs and was shocked at the results that came back.
With the rising number of CEOs of global companies, including Oracle, HP, Xerox, Yahoo, GM, Lockheed Martin and Pepsico, I would have thought there would have been better results.
Instead of images showing these women as credible presenters, genuine people, doing their job and being serious doing it (not laughing or smiling sweetly), I was presented with a mixed bag of images, including a woman with her feet up on a desk, a woman in sports kit in the office and far too many women cocking their head into submission and looking pretty with low cut blouses.
The same search for men, yielded completely different results. The men were serious, looking powerful and authoritative and there were certainly no gratuitous shots of flesh.
It makes me sad. And you wonder why women feel they need more positive role models and lobbying groups such as Women on Boards driving womens’ agendas in Whitehall?
It made me think about a discussion we had in the office a few weeks back about the Tumblr Women Laughing Alone With Salad. There’s much debate on the topic, with some saying that this type of imagery is compounded by magazine editors choosing it and therefore that’s what the stock libraries give them.
That said, my search wasn’t on a stock library. It was on Google – which compiles images from websites, news sources and stock libraries – and the visuals that the search throw up, really weren’t that much better.
For the women, the images are wide smiles with lots of teeth, far too many tilted heads and surprisingly windy offices and conference centres as hair blows behind them. They’re a touch contrived, often lacking in authority with just a sniff of sexiness about them. Go further down the page (outside of this clipping) and you’ll find women sitting at their desk in their sports kit or with their feet up, and yes, the shots do get a lot sexier.
And the men?
There are more serious poses, men at conferences speaking or looking straight to camera with a light smile. There are hardly any teeth to be seen and certainly no wind blowers on their wavy locks. To even things out, there are a few amusing images like the one with baby in a sling (multitasking) and the CEO with a Mohican haircut.
For me, the problem I had was that I wanted to provide an illustrator with a selection of female personas to use as a basis for a drawing that suggested a positive role model where success was based on ability, not on looks, physique or sexiness. What surprised me was that it was harder than I thought, even with the female CEOs that grace our top global businesses.
So why not more positive imagery? One day, I’ll hope that the woman laughing alone with salad will be a thing of the past. What are your thoughts?
Geothermal: The Under-Appreciated Investment Opportunity in Alternative Energy
Seeking to Understand the Emerging Gen Z Market?
The Future of Education
How to Influence Others to See Your Value
Secret Revealed: How VR Can Change Student’s Everyday Life
Why You Need to Fail Often … to Succeed More
The Pros and Cons of a ROWE Work Environment
How Hard Seltzer is Changing the Malt Beverage Industry
5 Unexpected Ways to Bond With an Employee
Embrace Roth to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement
Insights7 hours ago
The Future of Education
Equities16 hours ago
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 Election?
Behavioral Intelligence16 hours ago
Advisors: Are You Asking the Tough Questions?
Development1 day ago
Will the Rumored Merrill Retention Package Materialize?
Research2 days ago
“Follow the Money” Is Always a Good Investing Strategy
Advisor Marketing2 days ago
Everything Advisors Need to Know About Google Reviews
Building Smarter Portfolios2 days ago
Getting True Passive International Exposure
Development3 days ago
How Do You Know Your Financial Advice Is Suitable?