We think it’s important to re-introduce ourselves here at Lobster, not just for the sake of portraying who we are as a brand, but as a way to introduce us as a collective with the same goals. The aim of our transparency in this article, is so you as a reader (whether you’re a buyer, seller or collaborator of ours) can get to know us a little better and hopefully be inspired by the way we do day-to-day business – hopefully encouraging you to move forward in a similar way.
So we say we want diversity on our platform, but what does this term actually mean and how is it important to us? We wanted to do an investigation into what diversity means to each of us here at Lobster so that when we use the word in our campaigns or bio’s or articles, you guys know exactly what we mean.
So first things first, let’s break down the word ‘diverse’.
Well, it’s definitely a word that can struggle to mean much on its own. Usually, we see it behind words such as ‘culturally, ethnically, strategically’, but the underlying meaning of the word itself is variety. Variety is probably one of the most important and undeniable aspects of our world. Variety, and therefore diversity, is the world around us. It is in the personalities of brothers and sisters; it’s the different foods we eat at different times of year; it’s a group of people within a city; it’s the way we structure our days, weeks, months and years; it’s something we seek out in our everyday whether intentionally or not. But it’s this variety that enriches our lives, rather than setting us apart from each other. So why, when it comes to stock photography previous to Lobster, was there such a noticeable lack of it. Surely this isn’t representative of the world we live in?
When ‘diversity’ as a word is deployed by us, we have to make sure it is an accurate and proportionate representation of the world that many see and experience. This is not just our experiences of those based here in London UK, but for every single one of our contributors and buyers around the globe. It is important for us that Lobster is this accumulation and amalgamation of every single one of its contributors so that this variety is realistic, accessible and does not discriminate. We can’t take this for granted in our industry and we certainly have to be able to revolutionise and maintain a genuine approach to diversity with every task and project we take on. As we act as the middleman between contributors and buyers, we are responsible for finding, promoting and creating opportunities to celebrate ‘difference’ and ‘variety’ – and we don’t take this responsibility for granted.
Since Lobster’s conception, what really stood out for CEO Olga, was the lack of diversity in the stock images industry. So – in order to combat this – she set out to create a diverse, fair and representative marketplace that puts the user at the centre, no matter where they are from.
So as the company and team have grown since its birth, we thought it would be a good idea to ask members of the team what diversity means to them and how this contributes to Lobster’s values as a whole. As our team is small here at Lobster, what we as individuals believe really matters and is ultimately the ‘food for thought’ behind our campaigns and our strategy.
For Olga Egorsheva (CEO, founder), ‘Diversity’ means a true representation of society’s traits and beautiful beings. This includes full human liberty and is without prejudice, all while with the respect for the rights and differences of others.
Jonas sees diversity as being inclusive and knows no bounds. Diversity looks beyond race, gender, and religion.
Anna Rezhapova’s (Digital Marketer) definition is about the importance of telling everyone’s story and appealing to everyone – this includes every gender, nationality and people with different backgrounds
For Ruth Prada (Community Lead), diversity really is about diversifying your expectations and opening your mind to allow new thoughts and opinions to infiltrate. It’s about acting with diversity at the forefront of your decisions, so it’s present not just in your talk but also your walk.
And finally, for Vanessa Munteanu (Partnerships & Customer Success), it’s about the liberty and empowerment of voices that are likely to ‘burst one’s bubble’ and actually inform of the depth and wideness of the world. It’s less about defining what makes us different, and instead, letting the differences prove that they give more colour and unity and not the other way around. It’s about embracing and nurturing what makes the other person be genuinely herself without claiming something back, all while being open to learn and exchange value.
As the company has grown, each employee has maintained this motivation and drive, with diversity at the crux of our everyday goals and projects. We don’t want our contributors to be exploited for their diversity, or used as just the next neo-liberal stunt to advertise or promote a business. We want to join and lead the next wave of genuine companies that acknowledge the standards they should be held to when operating within industries. We’re here to call out rather than perpetuate the lack of diversity that has once had a grasp over the stock imagery world. Representation is important!
So the next time you come across the concept ‘diversity’ in your photographs, videos or work brief, you’ll know exactly the company to come to that can help protect and promote your values and goals. Just Lobster It.