Sony has officially kicked off the fourth season of Alpha Female, its platform for providing female photographers and videographers with opportunities to share their stories and inspire through creativity, passion and drive.

“Our lives are richer when we can see the world through different perspectives. In the photography and video industry there’s a substantial disparity in gender and minority representation, which means some perspectives don’t see the light of day and we’re the poorer for it. Alpha Female was created to help close the gap and make our industry an environment where all voices have an opportunity to thrive,” Sony said in a blog post.

In March 2021, the World Economic Forum released its latest Global Gender Gap Report. In it, the organization showed that not only has the gender gap not closed in the past year … it’s widened by another 35 years (to 135 years on average) until gender parity can be reached. With Alpha Female, Sony hopes to “reverse the trend and start closing the gap.”

U.S. and Canada-based artists over the age of 18 can apply for an Alpha Female+ grant. If chosen, this provides a $5000 grant to fund a specific photo or video project geared toward furthering the female or minority perspective. Grant winners also receive a full-frame Sony camera and lens, a year of Adobe Creative Cloud and a year of Sony Pro Support.

Grant-winning projects will also be promoted on Sony’s platforms.

There are 12 grant packages available, and artists can apply once per grant period, meaning you can submit as many as 12 projects for consideration. The first grant period begins April 5, 2021.

For more information on the Alpha Female program, visit Sony’s website.