When conversations began about a collaboration between Getty Images and SeeHer, it was the fall of 2019. We were weeks away from the first reported case of COVID, and what would become a very challenging time for people around the globe, but particularly for women.

There were significant setbacks that women experienced, from job loss, to lack of childcare, to retrenchment of economic advancement opportunities. Unfortunately, we emerged from the pandemic with women taking a significant step back in achieving financial and social equality.

There were also clear indications that the media and marketing industry had work to do to achieve a truly inclusive representation of women and girls. In fact, research at the time showed that only 25% of women felt that they were accurately portrayed in media. What a hill to climb!

It was lucky, then, that in that magical fall meeting, we found in SeeHer a group of folks who shared our values, our appetite for change, and our willingness to put resources, time, and energy behind our intent to make the visual landscape more inclusive.

Following that meeting, SeeHer & Getty Images created the first guide to Inclusive Visual Storytelling for Women.

As we put pen to paper on the guide we reflected on what information would be the lightning rod to change the conversation. The answer for us? Dimension. A recognition of all that women are, all they hold within themselves, and all that they hope to be. An acknowledgment that women come from all backgrounds, all races, all ethnicities. That women come in all shapes and sizes, express their identities with all types of clothing, hair styles, and adornments. And women lead and live all sorts of lives, with diverse interests, hobbies, careers, family compositions, lifestyle choices, relationships, and so much more.

It was from this focus on dimension that sprung the seven tenets of identity to evaluate the depiction of women: age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, body, and religion. And when we decided on that, everything else fell into place. Data to tell the truth about how far we still need to go. Questions for marketers, creatives, and others to ask themselves to shift us in a new direction for the representation of all women.

Since the launch of the first guide we have had incredible positive engagement from SeeHer members. We conducted Inclusive Visual Storytelling workshops with American Express, Blackrock, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Citibank and the larger ANA membership. We had the privilege to be part of challenging, but thoughtful discussions with some of the leading marketers and their teams on how to move the needle on accurate representation of women across all dimensions.

Three years and an evolved, more comprehensive, and detailed version of this guide later (now called An Imagery Toolkit for Inclusive Visual Storytelling), our world is much different. And even as a people, we are a lot different. But you know what hasn’t changed? The shared commitment of Getty Images and SeeHer to accelerating authentic, truthful depictions of women across all forms of media. We won’t stop moving forward. Will you?