The field of photojournalism has always been male dominated. It’s not because of the lack of female photographers, but the fact that publications have failed to hire them, thus leading to the vast gender disparity in the industry. In the face of these challenges, in 2017, Daniella Zalcman, a photojournalist, decided to start an initiative that would serve as a database of women and non-binary visual journalists. In its early stage, there were about 400 photographers in the database, which grew rapidly to over 750, who were based in 99 countries. “I wanted to assemble a hiring resource for editors and curators to use, and to help them ensure that their respective organisations were being more inclusive in an industry that is still suffering from persistent structural inequality,” Zalcman said.
Women Photograph also initiated a grants programme to support both established and emerging visual journalists. They have supported a total of ten photographers with the help of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, ONA Bags, Getty Images, and Nikon USA. “The collective is also working more broadly to create conversations in our industry, as well as in the mainstream spaces about why it’s necessary for the photojournalism community be a diverse and inclusive space. We have to make sure that we hire a spectrum of photographers that represent all identities, not just gender, if we truly want to be thorough, nuanced, and balanced in our reporting,” she said.