Buffer got two incredible notes in our inbox over the weekend:

“Hi Buffer/Pablo! I love using Pablo. I hopped on to make some graphics for International Women’s Day for my business and couldn’t find any good graphics. Please can you change this. When I typed in women and girls I got women whispering to each other, girls holding hands, and a woman in cutoff shorts fueling a gas tank. Please upload some inspiring images ahead of international women’s day. Thanks!”

“I love love love your product for its ease of use and often recommend it to peers and clients but (sorry, you knew it was coming), I’ve noticed this for awhile — I have to click an average of 8 times to get a quote by a woman.”

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the truth of two simple words: Representation matters.

When little girls see women running a business, or running a country, it lets them grow up knowing that they could do the same thing. Heck, when a grownup woman like me sees this, it still inspires me to dream bigger.

And when we don’t see these representations, it can become harder to dream. To imagine. To consider what could be.

We can’t be what we can’t see.

That’s why I’m so grateful for these reminders in our inbox. Their senders are absolutely right.

Making Pablo more representative

Products are always, in some way, a reflection of those who create them, and right now our product Pablo is not as representative of strong women as our wonderful customers deserve. We’ve got work to do.

So in honor of International Women’s Day—a time to reflect on progress made and call for change—let’s talk about how we plan to change and make Pablo (and Buffer!) what we know it can and should be.

  • As of today we’ve added 25+ more quotes from incredible women like Marie Curie, Mae Jemison, and Sonia Sotomayor into Pablo and more diverse images of women. We still don’t have equal representation, and we’ll keep going until we do. (Would love to hear your favorite quote by an awesome woman!)
  • Buffer recently signed on as a sponsor for #WOCintech Stock Photo Shoot Initiative, a series of photo shoots focusing on creating free, easy-to-use stock photos of women and non-binary people of color. We’ve used images from their first shoot throughout the blog (including below!), and they rock.
  • The Pablo team is talking through a path to expand the image library and add more diverse images (maybe even using photos from the #WOCintech shoot and others). More news on this as soon as we have it!

Meanwhile, we want to give you lots of options for honoring International Women’s Day, because it’s important to see and hear women being loud and strong and powerful.

These sources are great ones for images of strong women:

Meanwhile, 25 inspiring images

And here are 25 images and quotes that are inspiring us on our journey to more representation and greater equality. I hope one of them might inspire you, too.

hopper

voice gates

amelia dance Poehler    learn Ruth

decide Emma

success SerenaRBG independent

champions kingvoice albright

greedy simonedifference goodall   lines shonda luck lucille courage oprah fear adams work maeve nest Chodron ambition Angela Merkel walk dolly art smith passion child

mae fear lorde

coco

Over to you!

To the senders of those two incredible notes, thank you for believing we can do better. We will.

I’m always so excited and humbled to hear your thoughts. How can we make Pablo and Buffer products that better represent all of our wonderful users? I’d love to hear any thoughts and solutions you’d be gracious enough to share.

And we’d be incredibly grateful for you help in collecting more quotes by awesome women! Share your favorites with us so we can add them to Pablo. :)

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Written by Courtney Seiter

Courtney writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer. She runs Girls to the Moon on the side and pets every dog she sees.

  • Kirrily Weatherstone

    Thanks for listening to your audience and championing this positive change, Courtney! One of my favourite quotes is by Harper Lee- “Everybody’s gotta learn. Nobody’s born knowing.”

  • This. Is. Awesome. Thank you for caring about this and working to include women in your products! I loved the quotes you all picked.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Kate! It was really fun and empowering to go quote-hunting; excited to do more!

  • Shauna Ruyle

    Kudos to Buffer! Thank you for representing 50% of the workforce and population!!

    • We will keep working on it until we get there, Shauna; thank you for the encouragement!

  • Mary Lupu

    I love your quotes and of course great post, as usual. Here is another one that I really like :)

  • Mary Lupu

    :)

  • Joshua Price

    Kudos to having not only a very attentive ear but also acting on the recommendations so quickly. You’re probably already well aware, but another source of great photos that I use all the time is unsplash.com and looking at their Woman search results, it would appear they have a respectable collection.

    https://unsplash.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keyword=woman&button=

    • Thanks, Joshua! Yup, Unsplash is awesome and has been adding some great images of women! It’d be neat to grab a few more; hopefully we can do that!

  • I love the way Buffer has handled this. It can be really hard to admit where things aren’t as good as they can be, but I’m so impressed at how you’ve listened and responded well. Great quotes and photos and I look forward to seeing more!

    • Thanks for kind words and encouragement, Liza! It feels great to take action here and I’m excited to keep moving and make Pablo the tool for great representation I know it can be.

  • Love this!

    • Awww thanks, Erica! ALWAYS inspired by how you build inclusivity into Moz events.

  • Sigrid Artner

    The way you guys at buffer get excited about so many things and share it with the world is awesome. Reading your posts and tweets I can actually feel the happiness! I love how this has become a lifestyle for you and not only a job. This is so very inspiring….all of you are!! Special thanks for the great quotes from all those great women!

    • Sigrid, you are too kind. How wonderful that you have felt happiness coming through your interactions with Buffer; that is music to my ears! I know for my part, I feel very lucky to be able to do work that I’m passionate about and have the opportunity to learn and improve all the time. :)

  • LeeAndra Fouts

    YES! *fistpump* HEAR US ROAR! ;)

    One of my very favorite quotes of all time is by Anais Nin: ‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’

  • I actually genuinely teared up when you mentioned non-binary people in the #WOCinTech inclusion initiative. You’re absolutely right that representation matters and I’m so pleased that Buffer continues to improve in that area.

    • We are learning as much as we can; it’s been so awesome to see the whole team reading and sharing knowledge and questions on inclusivity topics every day now. Really excited to keep learning and growing!

  • Hansoftech

    Love your post!

  • YESSS!! You guys are so awesome. You deal with critique so openly and so well. (I recently saw another incidence on twitter where you dealt with it with grace and I was in awe, because I felt defensive on your behalf).

    Thank you also for the wonderful quotes, It was a challenge not to pin all of them. I am just about to embark on another career adventure and the quotes really inspired me to feel confident in my decision.

    Thank you, thank you , thank you.

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