“We’re here. We’re working. We exist,” Daniella Zalcman, a photojournalist based in London who created a database of female photographers, said in an interview. “The problem is the organization not making the adequate effort to include us.”
In an emailed statement, Nikon said the all-male group was one of several efforts to market the camera, and that women participated in others, including female brand ambassadors in the United States.
“This unfortunate circumstance is not reflective of the value we place on female photographers and their enormous contributions to the field of photography,” the company said in the statement.
“We know the conversation happening is an important one,” it continued. “We appreciate the need to continue to improve the representation of women, and recognize our responsibility to support the immense creative talent of female photographers.”
Nikon acknowledged its shortcomings with women in its 2016 annual report, in which it lists “promotion of women’s empowerment” as a “priority issue.” As of March 2016, women represented 10.6 percent of Nikon employees and 4.7 percent of managers, the company reported. It set a target of 25 percent female employment by 2021.
Though women are the majority in undergraduate and graduate journalism programs, few women work on assignment for the major international wire services, The Times reported in February. Women account for about 15 percent of the submissions to the World Press Photo Awards, and major publications overwhelmingly highlighted the work of men in their roundups of 2016’s most significant images, ranging between 80 and 100 percent.
Tired of editors giving assignments overwhelmingly to men, Ms. Zalcman created Women Photograph to address the imbalance. The database lists 650 women in 87 countries. It includes 40 in Africa, 37 in Asia and 38 in the Middle East.
To not include women from those areas, she said, “almost seems like a mathematical impossibility.”
Melissa Lyttle, president of the National Press Photographers Association, called Nikon’s marketing attempt an “egregious slap in the face to advancement that’s happened in the past 20 years in our industry.”
She said she had worked for paternalistic editors who did not want to send a woman into harm’s way by giving her dangerous assignments. Other women have said they had to overcome sexual harassment, insular networks of men, and being pigeonholed into specific stories.
“Every opportunity I ever got at newspapers, I was fighting for and picking up the scraps of when my male colleagues turned them down,” Ms. Lyttle said.
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