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Women photographers in focus as industry still needs to sharpen up

Anywhere is fine to drink to International Women's Day
Anywhere is fine to drink to International Women's Day Copyright Maie Vaks/Picfair
Copyright Maie Vaks/Picfair
By Jez Fielder
Published on Updated
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Women by Women for International Women's Day.

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Globally, around three-quarters of photography students are women, yet they account for only 15 per cent of professional photographers.

So this International Women's Day, we want to celebrate women photographers. And what better subjects for them as ... other women! 

Open photography platform Picfair gave us a selection of their disparate range to showcase this coming together of women behind and in front of the lens. 

Anna/Picfair
A smile for IWDAnna/Picfair

"Awareness around gender inequality in the industry may be growing. But the numbers aren’t changing fast enough," say 1854 Media who publish the British Journal of Photography.

Jessica Sjodin/Picfair
Photography can be fraught with danger!Jessica Sjodin/Picfair

The National Union of Journalists says their female membership of photographers and videographers is 17%; the British Press Photographers Association reports 12.5%, and the Association of Photographers puts their female Accredited and Assisting Photographers at just 18% – by contrast, 75% of their student membership is female, according to content marketing agency Wallflower Studios. 

Viviane Rakotoarivony/Picfair
Hula GirlViviane Rakotoarivony/Picfair

Between 2012 and 2017, women made up just 15% of entries to the World Press Photo awards, according to a New York Times blog. 

Bronte Huskinson/Picfair
Breakfast of ChampionsBronte Huskinson/Picfair

The above picture is by Bronte Huskinson, who says photography has really helped her life. 

"I started getting interested in photography when I was going through a really tough time in my life, and photography gave me something to focus on and something to look forward to, somewhere to channel my energy."

In 2017, 153 magazine covers from the 10 leading US fashion publications were shot mostly by men, with only 13.7% of them shot by female photographers, according to Fashionista magazine.

Much more recent statistics from Women Photograph tell the same story, with the San Francisco Chronicle as an outlier.

womenphotograph.com
Latest stats on gender representation in Photojournalismwomenphotograph.com

At the current rate of growth, the organisation calculates that it will take another 35 years to achieve gender parity.

Womenphotograph.com
Projection towards Gender ParityWomenphotograph.com

"Our mission is to shift the makeup of the photojournalism community and ensure that our industry's chief storytellers are as diverse as the communities they hope to represent," says the organisation. 

As for the gender pay gap, it's certainly at work here. Women photographers are earning, on average, 40% less than their male counterparts. The latest figures from the United States show us the average photographer salary for men is €54,840 whereas for women it's €31,596. 

You can check out Picfair's International Women's Day gallery here.

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