From the Suffragettes to Women’s Liberation, to Time’s Up and #MeToo Movement—throughout history, several women’s movements have brought forth advocacies that push for gender equality. While we have made landmark achievements, it is clear that we need to take more significant steps towards reducing gender disparity. Amidst the resurgence of feminist movements, an innovative platform called Girlgaze emerges.
The Story of Girlgaze Inc. & How Girls See the World
In 2016, Amanda de Cadenet was a rising photographer, author, and TV Host. As a photographer, de Cadenet noticed the glaring pay gap between male and female photographers. While she was able to book editorial jobs, the paid gigs were sparse and few. She recalls, “The glass ceiling was so low that I couldn’t get off my knees.”
Indeed, the pay gap was a significant concern. But for de Cadenet, the apparent disparity in the number of pictures taken by female photographers was more disquieting. With this environment, the opportunity to present female experiences as seen through a women’s point of view is lost. She further adds, “If the goal is for us to be accepted and embrace who we are, our flaws and all, we’re never going to see those pieces of ourselves depicted in media when taken from the perspective that doesn’t have an experience of those things.”
In February 2016, gripped by the need for a new way to view the world, de Cadenet started the hashtag #girlgaze on Instagram. She encouraged female and female-identifying photographers to submit photos of women, by women as a testament to the growing clamor to take steps towards reducing gender disparity.
In just a few hours, the Girlgaze Instagram account received an influx of support from female and female-identifying photographers. There was a huge turnout that underscores the clamor to tell the story through the female perspective. Remarkably, Amanda de Cadenet was able to build a network of 200,000 female and female-identifying photographers and directors. Soon, with a massive group of creatives, de Cadenet launched the Girlgaze Network.
Taking Steps Towards Reducing Gender Disparity: One Job at a Time
A new wave of feminism has been sweeping across societies today. With the aid of technology and the internet, the prevailing attitude aims to examine—if not dismantle—interlocking systems that suppress groups based on gender, race and age. Responding to the call of times, Girlgaze tapped the power of photos to promote social reform.
Girlgaze promotes inclusivity, resistance, leadership, and authenticity by creating paid opportunities for female-identifying and non-binary creatives. With Amanda de Cadenet at the helm, Girlgaze is guided by a powerhouse creative committee composed of photojournalist-author, Lynsey Addario; fashion photographer, Inez Van Lamsweerde; and actress-supermodel-entrepreneur, Amber Valletta. To date, Girlgaze has partnered with global brands such as Warby Parker, Levi’s, Google, Adobe and Nike through branded content, product collaboration and event production.
Women Empowerment through Balanced Storytelling
From economic growth to improved quality of life for everyone—the benefits of gender equality make it worth pursuing.
One of the steps towards reducing gender disparity is ensuring that women are well-represented. Seeing more images and hearing stories of women through the female point-of-view empowers women to speak up, to be seen and to be heard.
As a global community of passionate creatives, purposeful brands, and socially-aware organizations, Girlgaze is on a mission to close the gender gap. Indeed, there’s so much more that still needs to be done, and Girlgaze is stepping up to the challenge.