Photo campaign aims to change the way women are portrayed with money


“Money is genderless” and we need parity as well as equality. This is the clear message from Starling Bank in its #MakeMoneyEqual campaign, which aims to better represent women photographically when it comes to representations of money.

Public conversations about money and personal finance can often be riddled with negative gender stereotypes, with women’s magazines and the media tending to push the “bargain hunter” and “how to cut expenses” approaches, as opposed to the luxurious lifestyle and spending. trips encouraged for men.

• For more chilling statistics on gender bias in photography, you might be interested in: It’s a fact – gender and photography edition (opens in a new tab)

From 2018, Starling Bank launched the #MakeMoneyEqual campaign (opens in a new tab)after the company acknowledged that women in stock and finance-related media images were often depicted with money in a childish way, holding coins and piggy banks at home, unlike their male counterparts who were depicted as businessmen wearing suits with a briefcase and bundles of leaflets.

(Image credit: Starling Bank / Lensi Photography)

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Starling Bank commissioned a language study from an agency called The Answer, where 300 articles were assessed from a mix of media focusing separately on men and women. He found that money was a factor that caused the tongue to split; 65% of articles rated define women as excessive spenders, and 70% of articles aimed at men define earning money as a male ideal.

The company also worked with Brunel University in the UK on a survey and gender representation report (opens in a new tab) of the different ways in which men and women were portrayed in relation to money.

He found that by examining major image libraries and over 600 images used in money-related articles, it was shown that men were in control and made financial decisions, while women were portrayed. with piggy banks in a degrading manner, and many types of women were not shown at all.

Starling Bank’s initiatives to rectify gender biases and better represent women in the context of money and finance, as well as to address gaps discovered in Brunel’s research, resulted in the creation of its own Starling company. free image library (opens in a new tab)in collaboration with Lensi Photography, featuring 100 photographs that address and combat this issue – better representing women with money.

Negative gender stereotypes and sexist biases have been subtly implemented in popular media and photography for decades, and it is critically important that we retract these harmful portrayals that communicate a certain derogatory message and narrative, be it intentionally or not.

It also means the inclusion of all genders in media, including fair representation of trans and non-binary people, as well as men unfairly held to higher expectations and standards, with the added pressure of concealing their emotions while maintaining an income.

(Image credit: Starling Bank / Lensi Photography)

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“Our analysis revealed clear differences in how men and women are portrayed with money, as well as a general lack of diversity,” said co-author Professor Shireen Kanji of Brunel University. of the report on gender representation.

“These representations really matter. They negatively affect not only how people are treated, but also how they think of themselves in terms of money, which is generally used to symbolize power, influence and freedom.”

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, agrees. “Money is a problem for many people – but women face far more systemic barriers when it comes to their finances. Gender inequality goes far beyond low pay and the symbolism of boards; it starts with how we are taught. It starts with how we are spoken to.

(Image credit: Starling Bank / Lensi Photography)

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“Men are advised on investment strategies, while women are told to stop splurging and buy fewer shoes. It’s mind-blowing… Improving representation won’t happen overnight overnight, but hopefully this will bring us one step closer to financial equality in visual media.”

Getty Images has also made strides in this area, creating its Disability Collection dedicated to breaking stereotypes and representing people with disabilities. (opens in a new tab) specifically in the media.

Photographers are encouraged to consider any underlying biases they may unconsciously have when choosing models to work with in certain scenarios, settings, or locations, and the narrative they communicate to the world by doing so.

(Image credit: Starling Bank / Lensi Photography)

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“Language separates us into spenders and wage-earners, frivolous and self-reliant. That’s why Starling Bank believes we need to #MakeMoneyEqual – a call to every business owner, every editor, every podcast presenter, every title writer and copy checker: Let’s talk about money the same way to everyone. And let’s get started now.

• In light of World Photography Day, check out these 22 historic female photographers you need to know. You may also be interested in Addressing the issue of gender inequality in the photography industry (opens in a new tab), or are you looking for best camera bags for women? Looking for a female-only contributor image library? Read all about Pulled by women (opens in a new tab).


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