Photo courtesy of Fstoppers

Nikon Accused of Sexism for Campaign that Features 32 Men and Zero Women

Like the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and Nikon’s recent campaigndebaclehas managed to say a lot with very little.

The Japan-based company recently came under fire for promoting their new D850 camera in acampaignthat lacked female representation. In an advertisement released on their Instagram that featured 32 professional male photographers across the Asia-Pacific, Nikon wrote under the photo:

“Meet 32 creative individuals from Asia, Middle East and Africa, and join them as they embark on an experience with the latest FX-format D850 in their respective genres of wedding, nature, commercial and sports. With their expertise in photography and videography, the D850’s technology, and Nikon’s craftsmanship, this is one DSLR ready to set a new world of limitless creative imaging possibilities.”

It was not long before people began expressing their disappointment on Twitter. One commenter wrote, “My 1st camera was a@NikonUSA. Sad to think of all the young women/girls who won’t see themselves here:”

A series of similar tweets followed suit.

In response to the criticism and attempt to quiet sexism accusations Nikon responded, “Unfortunately, the female photographers we have invited for this meet were unable to attend, and we acknowledge that we had not put enough of a focus on this area.”

However, many were not convinced and further criticized the company for lacking a proper excuse considering such a large oversight. One commenter wrote, “‘No one could come.’ Sad to hear this kind of excuses coming from you guys. Really no women out there Hard to imagine the office environment.”

Another commenter said, “How many women did you invite Your letter fails to recognize the harm caused here and lacks details for meaningful change.”

However, the lapse in judgment doesn’t come as a surprise considering Nikon’s female employeestotaled 11 percent of their workforce for 2017. The ratio of females in management positions at Nikon is 6.1 percent; the company had set a goal to hit 5 percent for the year.

A statement on the company’s website regarding diversity hiring practices reads, “Nikon’s conducting the same hiring and treatment of employees regardless of gender.” For a company that has been promoting a “group-wide program for employees” called “Future in Focus” which is aimed to create an environment of diversity regardless of nationality, ethnicity or gender the figures appear skimp.

And in a bid to promote female professional photographers, Nikon surely could have recruited the likes of Paula Bronstein, an award-winning photographer who recently won a 2017 Getty Image Grant for Editorial Photography for a project documenting the lives of victims at war, to test-drive their new D850.

In an effort to encourage women to continue capturing images regardless of being overlooked by some, one person wrote, “In 2007, I was told ‘women don’t shoot weddings’ by a mentorso I proved him wrong… WE ALL DID. We can’t stop now.#nikon#nikond850.”

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