International Women’s Day: Canon does it right

Commemorative pink shirts, pins and accessories? Please. That’s vaguely sexist. Not all women want to be donned in baby pink from head to toe.

Turn the Golden Arches into a W? Woo, yes, that’s going to bring attention to gender wage imbalance, domestic abuse, and #metoo issues, McDonald. A multi-billion dollar corporation could do more than flip a couple signs upside down.

KFC swapped out the Colonel Sanders sign for a Colonel Sanders’ wife in India. That’s sure showing them, KFC! If they’d gone a little further and made a public statement about how women are treated, that’d go miles. It probably would’ve hurt their bottom line, though. Money mo’ money.

Google changed its logo temporarily, and made a video. Woopee. Considering that Google has made the news several times in the past year for its treatment of women in its workforce, you’d think they’d do a little more.

These little actions are…little. They’re meaningless. They don’t really do much to address the gender inequality around the world. They’re not addressing the issue at hand. They’re not doing anything to actually help solve it.

In contrast these companies are doing it right:

Old Navy donated $25,000 to Monumental Women, a nonprofit org that’s working on getting the first statue of a woman in NYC’s Central Park.

Starbucks is partnering with Malala Fund, an organization that aims to help female children get a full 12 years of education.

Brawny paper towels donated $100,000 to Girls Inc., an organization designed to promote STEM programs for school age girls.

Johnnie Walker is donating $1 for every “Jane Walker” bottle sold, up to $250,000 (haven’t disclosed orgs’ names yet)

And Canon! Canon is partnering with Women Photograph, a movement created to promote female photojournalists. They’ll help fund/organize the travel grant program.


Association Will Help Elevate the Voices of Female and Non-binary Photographers

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 8, 2018 – In conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD), the global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce their association with Women Photograph, a movement created to promote the representation of female photojournalists. Canon will work with Women Photograph to aid their travel grant program which funds female and non-binary photographers to attend workshops, hostile environment trainings, festivals, and other developmental opportunities.

Launched in 2017 and founded by photojournalist Daniella Zalcman, Women Photograph is an initiative to shift the gender makeup of the photojournalism community. A private database that includes more than 700 independent female documentary photographers based in 91 countries, any commissioning editor or organization can utilize the database for their photojournalistic hiring needs.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this year’s IWD than to support an initiative that is enriching the professional advancement of female and non-binary photojournalists,” said Elizabeth Pratt, director of professional client development and support and Canon Professional Services. “Women Photograph has created a home for professional women photojournalists to showcase their work for potential clients and Canon is honored to help continue the momentum of this initiative.”

Canon Professional Services will host a Women Photograph Workshop at the Canon Customer Experience Center in Orange County, CA in December. Dates and details will be provided by Women Photograph.

“Canon is an ideal strategic partner as we ensure that our industry’s chief storytellers are as diverse as the communities they hope to represent,” said Daniella Zalcman, founder and director of Women Photograph. “So much of breaking into the photojournalism industry relies on networking and professional development events that can be prohibitively expensive and the generous support from Canon will help our photographers access these resources.”

For more information about Women Photograph or to learn more about the travel grant program and the upcoming workshop, log onto:

Kickass. In an era when photojournalism is increasingly devalued, this will help the ladies continue to report.

I checked the other camera companies to see if anyone else did something to acknowledge Women’s International Day.

  • Nikon: Bupke.
  • Pentax: Zip
  • Sony: Yes, not camera related (a freebie theme for the PS4 console)
  • Samsung: encouraged people to buy Samsung products for a special woman in their life. That’s something, at least.
  • Leica: Nope.
  • Fujifilm: No

On one hand this is a bullshit made-up event, not unlike the “Hug your pet day”. It’s understandable that not every company will do something to acknowledge it. But on the other hand…the larger ones, at least, could put in a real effort into improving the world. It’s good PR. It’s good ethics.

In my books, it gives Canon another point in their favor for when I start weighing pros and cons of switching systems.

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