A simple Google search will reveal the lack of diversity among existing stock images. Couple the terms “Latinx,” “Latina,” or “Latino” and “professional” or “workplace” and you’ll likely see a smattering of images from events and organizations. The stock image results showing even less, and a very narrow view of what it means to be Latinx in today’s workforce. Career advancement platform Jopwell decided to challenge this.
This week, Jopwell released its latest stock photography collection shot by Afro-Latinx photographer Yarminiah Rosa. The Jopwell Latinx Photo Collection, Vol 1. is a free-to-download album featuring Latinx professionals in the workplace.
“We created The Jopwell Collection to provide a realistic portrayal of our community in today’s workforce — because we believe in the power of representative imagery,” says Clara Lucio, senior brand manager at Jopwell, via email. “We were super intentional in creating our newest album, The Jopwell Latinx Collection Vol. 1, hiring an Afro-Latinx photographer and casting models of all shades and backgrounds who showed a commitment to advancing the Latinx community as a whole. Through this collection, we hope to celebrate and inspire the next Latinx leaders and challenge all organizations to not only talk about the value of diversity but to show it.”
Latinxs are the U.S.’ second largest ethnic or racial group behind whites, according to the Pew Research Center. With our growing demographic making up 18 percent of the population, Latinxs only make up around 8 percent of media representation. And when you explore corporate representation of Latinx identity, it’s evident it’s virtually non existent.
For that very reason, many of the photo shoot participants were drawn to the mission of making stock imagery more inclusive. It’s more than just a photo, it’s an opportunity to show Latinxs belong in a variety of professions, particularly executive roles and corporate spaces.
“Exposure is key in the workforce – where we see others who look like us, we are more likely to feel that they represent who we are and we can get to where they are,” shares Flow Tejada, director of college completion at Uncommon Schools. “I work with high school students and representation and exposure is something that we focus on daily. For us adults, we often forget that we’re looking for that type of affirmation.”
The Jopwell Latinx Photo Collection is also an opportunity to showcase racial diversity among the fastest growing demographic. With Afro-Latinidad gaining greater acknowledgment in diversity conversations, Afro-Latinxs are included throughout the collection.
“It is really important to bring awareness to Afro-Latinas,” says Bianca Kea, content specialist, social media and digital at Interactive One. “We have to bring awareness to the fact that there is diversity within the Latinx community…it’s really important to show that we come in all different shapes, colors, sizes, hair textures.”
Representation and seeing ourselves positively reflected in imagery matters and photography and image companies are finally starting to realize that. Last month Getty Images launched their Nosotros Collection to expand their images of the Latinx community. Their goal was to include more diversity including more Afro-Latinxs, as well as making sure that the images counteract the stereotypes and limited portrayals of Latinx. Representation really is key.