Lack of images of women in science

This is actually something I’ve discovered when looking for stock photos for blogs and posts, that other than weird “sexy scientist” images, and the cliche “holding up a tube in a lab coat”, there are very few good quality pictures of women doing science.

There is an article here, which talks about the situation, and how it’s even worse for those who belong to a minority group.

“When scientific images included women, they were often audience members rather than scientists and often shown with smiles," the report’s authors said in a joint statement.

Having spent a lot of time wading through awful photos on Shutterstock, I can promise it’s not better in the US or UK either. Though I did come across this collection of awesome photos of women in STEM recently, although they don’t allow commercial use, which is a shame.

It depends where we’re looking, and who the audience for the women scientists’ pictures are. Biases are rife where the audience is lazy to dig (stock photos, web searches biased by profit-greedy algorithms). There’s a growing collection of scientists (quite significant number of them female) here for the kids at Letters to a Pre-Scientist, the snail mail pen pal program I’d mentioned in a different thread: Picture a Scientist


Those are both great sources of photos, thank you. Shame we can’t use the ifthen ones!