Gender Balance in the Cultural and Creative Sectors

I acted as Expert curator for this important discussion back in 2019, part of Voices of Culture, the Structured Dialogue between the European Commission and the Culture Sector.

We involved a wide range of participants, representing 36 organisations across the EU.

Why is gender balance important?

Several gender gaps exist in nearly all cultural fields in the world and across the EU. Women are not only underrepresented in the workforce, mainly in creative jobs and in leadership and decision-making positions, but also paid less than their male colleagues. Moreover, gender stereotypes and sexual harassment are still widely taking place, while access of female artists to resources and to the art market is often limited. The conditions on the labour market make women artists particularly vulnerable, in particular as far as labour segregation, social rights related to pregnancy, maternity and pensions are concerned.

How did we run this dialogue?

All successful applicants were invited to a “Brainstorming Meeting” on the 4th and 5th of September at Goethe-Institut Prague and to a “Dialogue Meeting” on the 6th of November at Flagey in Brussels and shared their input on several questions:

  1. What is the role of the public authorities (at national, regional and/or local levels) in ensuring a level playing field for female and male artists and cultural professionals? What works? What doesn’t work?
  2. What, if any, cultural policies and legislations need to be revised and/or introduced to include explicit affirmation of gender equality?
  3. What is the role of sectoral initiatives put in place to close the gender gaps in particular cultural and creative sectors?
  4. What should be done to increase the number of women in the cultural and creative occupations and sectors where they are under-represented?
  5. How to increase the gender balance at the leadership and decision-making positions?
  6. Is there a need for measures that promote equity in access to resources and access to the art market? If yes, what would be the most effective measures to be introduced?
  7. How to remove impediments that stand in the way of women’s involvement and advancement in cultural professions of their choice?

What did we publish out of it?

Find here accesss to the Brainstorming Report emerging out of this discussion.

Link below for access to the Voices of Culture blog entry on this topic.