Getty Images' CPO: Leadership Transparency Builds a Strong Culture

Lizanne Vaughan, SVP and Chief People Officer at Getty Images, joined us on for i4cp’s CHRO Next Practices Monthly session on April 8th, 2021.  

Getty Images is a British-American visual media company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is a supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video and music for business and consumers, with an archive of over 200 million assets. It targets three markets—creative professionals (advertising and graphic design), the media (print and online publishing), and corporate (in-house design, marketing and communication departments). 

On this call, Lizanne spoke candidly about her transition from being a litigator to a leader in HR, the challenges and opportunities being part of a smaller company present, the impact of the past year on the business and how Getty Images has so far managed through it, and the value of several core leadership behaviors at all levels of the organization. 

Specific to the events of the past year, Lizanne shares specific actions Getty Images took in order to successfully prevent laying off a single employee globally. One of the most significant actions taken was an across the board pay cut for all employees – to which employees had to opt in – and where over 90% of employees globally did. Lizanne talks about how the strength of the Getty Images culture allowed them to do this and at the same time, build the trust of the employees even more strongly. 

Lizanne stressed that leadership transparency, honesty, and frequent, open communication with all employees created a sense of loyalty to Getty Images and its leaders and a belief that they would do the best they could to protect all  employees. As a result of many of the actions taken, Getty Images is emerging strong – and are now determining the Getty Images of the future.

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