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March 21, 2009

Clip Art: Where art reflects the new business life

Buy I laughed this morning when I read Mary Schmidt's post on Lipsticking, "Lose the Old White Guy Stock Photos". She was commenting on PowerPoints and the overuse of boring old white guy handshakes to indicate partnerships, etc. We've all seen them.

Recently I was putting my own social  media PowerPoint together and opened up Microsoft's library of clip art to see what could jazz up the bullet points. I was pleased to see not only women's faces and situations, but MANY, MANY women's faces and situations. Wow.

Back in the day, i.e. before the Internet, I used hard copy clip art during my stint as a communications director for an insurance company. I remember looking high and low for line art with business women in the picture along with men. The offerings were bleak. When I did find ONE, my boss informed I couldn't use it because, "Women don't make the decisions." (I'm not making this up.)

Does clip art imitate business life? If so, we have finally arrived at the top of the pinnacle of marketing success indicators - to have our actions depicted for fast use in PowerPoint. 



Not only did I see women's faces everywhere, but I saw GREEN being represented everywhere with a lot of overlap in the shopping sector. "Green" has a definite feminine touch.

Purse String Theory is no longer theory - the market is putting a face on women and green because that's where the consumer cash lives. It's also where the new business decision makers live as more women start small businesses. I'm also seeing more women in the key "filter" jobs as marketing directors, purchasing officers and now sustainability managers. Green women bloggers are also filters for what gets seen and talked about on a friend-to-friend level.


The market has chosen it's new darling and in doing so has also restored much needed gender balance in business - women are now being recognized as the majority "buyer" decision makers and men will continue to hold the majority "seller" position.

Shoes Ironically, it's a reversal of the world's oldest profession; it still takes two to tango, but if Clip Art reflects business life, the buyer/seller roles have officially changed.



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