Half of women in Scottish cultural sector say their gender has held them back

Philip Deverell, Creative Scotland's director of strategy, says the organisation is "keenly aware" of barriers to progression in the industry.
Philip Deverell, Creative Scotland's director of strategy, says the organisation is "keenly aware" of barriers to progression in the industry.
Share this article
0
Have your say

Nearly half of women working in the arts in Scotland believe their gender is a barrier to career progression.

Men are more likely to reach senior positions, earn more than women, and describe their work as international, according to a major new study into the diversity of the nation’s cultural landscape.

Men were also much more likely to have worked for longer in the creative sector, be working full-time and less likely be the main or sole carer of children.

The survey of 1500 people working in the arts, for quango Creative Scotland, found there was a “significant pay gap” between men and women.

According to the research, 44 per cent of women working in the arts felt their gender had hindered their career, compared to 12 per cent of men.

The report states: “While some respondents reported specific experience of sexism or discrimination within the workplace, women’s experience in the sector differs beyond simple gender bias.

“The data suggests that males in the sector have more career success by a number of different measures.

“They are more likely to work in senior roles (18 per cent vs 13 per cent), more likely to earn more, and more likely to describe the reach of their work as international (59 per cent vs 46 per cent for artists).

“However, men are also more likely to have worked in the creative sector for longer, to be working full time rather than part time and importantly, less likely to be the primary or sole carer of children.

“The analysis of earnings data within the report indicates a significant gender pay gap. However, it does not take account of levels of seniority, experience or working hours. This requires further exploration.”

The research found the cultural sector was “asset rich and income poor” with 60 per cent of artists and performers earning less than £20,000 a year, despite high levels of education.

Low earnings, an expectaton of having to work for free and unpaid internships were key factors which saw “economic limitations” cited as the most common barrier to career progression.

Philip Deverell, Creative Scotland’s director of strategy, said: "We are keenly aware that barriers to access and progression exist.

"The survey results are enabling us to better understand the barriers to access and progression within the arts; are helping us to build a more robust evidence base and highlighting where more needs to be done to create a place of equal opportunity for all.

"We’ll be working closely with the arts sectors, using the findings from this survey, to address the barriers that obstruct people developing and progressing their careers.

"Together we can address the lack of diversity, support career progression and challenge poor employment practices.”