Black women in photography are often viewed as the most vulnerable of all subjects, according to a new study published by the National Geographic Society.
The research, which examines the experiences of black female journalists, suggests that they face unique challenges that need to be addressed to increase the chances of success in the field.
Black women face unique risks in the profession because of the way in which they are viewed, said Jessica Johnson, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who is the lead author of the report, published Tuesday.
The researchers looked at more than 2,000 professional photojournalist-identified photos taken over a three-year period.
The photos, which were taken between 2003 and 2012, were gathered from more than 100 sources, including the websites of local media, news outlets, social media and other online sources.
They included interviews with the women, their employers, friends, co-workers and colleagues.
In addition to the findings, the report highlights the impact of media stereotypes on how black female artists view their work.
Johnson and her co-author, Rebecca Levey, said that the media’s portrayal of black women is biased in ways that make it harder for them to gain respect and trust from other black women.
In the report’s most notable finding, Johnson and Levey say that many black women are “tempted to be the first black female photographer to go through this process,” despite their backgrounds.
Black women are often seen as less able to navigate the field and their profession because they are seen as “less competent,” they said.
Black female journalists are often asked to make tough decisions and face difficult conversations about race and privilege, Johnson said.
While there are plenty of reasons why black female women are not seen as successful in their work, the researchers argue that these factors do not make the profession inherently less appealing to black women, Johnson explained.
Black female photographers often have to take difficult, emotional decisions about the work they are doing and the people they are photographing, the study found.
It also notes that black women often face the perception that they are “stereotyped” by the media, and that the stigma they face can be even more damaging to their careers.
The results also show that black female professionals often face “different challenges” in terms of being perceived as less qualified than their white male counterparts.
Black females often do not have the same access to resources or mentors as their white female counterparts, Johnson noted.
While the majority of black photographers interviewed in the study have worked in a predominantly white field, some of them have faced racial discrimination in the industry.
In addition to a lack of funding and access to mentors, some black female writers and photographers have had to take time off to take care of their families, according the report.
Black photographers also face challenges in terms the field of photography, such as the stigma that can be attached to their profession.
They face difficulty getting the right job, which can be particularly difficult in urban areas where they are more likely to be perceived as “stigmatized” or less qualified.
Black male photographers are also perceived to have the most privilege in the photography industry, Johnson pointed out.
In the report the authors say that this is especially true in the business of photographing people of color, which means that many of them do not earn the same income as their black female colleagues.
Black females in the photographic field face more obstacles than white females in terms to professional advancement, Johnson added.
Black photographers face discrimination in hiring and promotions, which they also face in many other industries, such in the media.
While many white male photographers have a higher chance of advancement than black female ones, they face a higher risk of being fired from their jobs because of their race, the authors noted.
Black and Latino female photographers face a similar challenge, but their struggles are more limited.
In a 2014 survey of nearly 600 photojournalistic industry professionals, the majority (59%) of women said that they had experienced discrimination in their careers, while 32% said that discrimination affected their job performance, according a 2016 Pew Research Center study.
In a related study, the journal Scientific American, which publishes the National Geography magazine, found that black male photographers’ experience of discrimination was similar to that of white female photographers.
Black men have historically had a much harder time entering the field than their female counterparts.
This, combined with a number of obstacles and disadvantages, have led to a high level of self-censorship in the fields, Johnson suggested.
Despite the obstacles, black female professional photographers continue to advance, the National Science Foundation noted in a statement.
The study highlights the need to support, mentor and empower young, emerging, and talented black female researchers, photographers, and photojournalism students to be more successful in the world.
The National Geographic Association does not endorse or endorse the views or policies expressed in this article.