Quick - Woman business leader - what image comes to mind? If you follow popular media the picture you probably have is of a woman in a tailored suit carrying a briefcase in one hand and possibly a baby in the other. Get ready to get real, because as Sheryl Sandberg says, “you can’t be what you can’t see,”.
According to a recent New York Times article Sandberg’s nonprofit LeanIn.org is partnering with Getty Images to provide images that show the true multiplicity and variations of women (and men) at work and home breaking down the stereotypes we've become accustomed to but which are no longer (if they ever were) reflective of reality.
There’s plenty wrong with media and the way it distorts and distracts us from what’s important, but there’s no denying the power of media to open up a portal in our minds to a place where something brand new becomes possible, then acceptable, and at some point very normal. I don’t think it is coincidental that there were black presidents portrayed in movies long before Obama was elected and that several hit programs featured likable gay characters as we watched the national support for gay rights soar.
I love the idea of seeing more real images of powerful women and nurturing men included in our daily mashup of images.