GENDER INEQUALITIES IN THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE SECTOR

Home » GENDER INEQUALITIES IN THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE SECTOR

The role of women between progress and backwardness

Credit: Pim Chu

Despite the fact that the cultural sector is among the sectors with the highest female component in its workforce – marking a +1.8% on an overall basis – the cultural and creative industry is not immune to the same gender inequalities that afflict other production sectors.

The most recent data on university enrolment indicate an absolute and relative majority of women enrolled in humanities courses, a trend that has been consolidated over the last 10 years of surveys indicating a strong interest among women in areas of specialisation with an outlet in the cultural and creative sector.

The situation is even more unbalanced with regard to the institutional representation of female professionals. Limiting ourselves to the visual arts sector, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts: Works by women artists in major permanent collections in Europe and the US are estimated at 3-5% of the total

The works of women artists represented in the major art galleries in Europe and the US stand at 13.7% of the total. Out of 1.5 million art auctions over the past 40 years, works created by women have sold for almost 50% less than the paintings of their male counterparts, signifying a double economic and artistic undervaluation, with knock-on effects on recognition and institutional representation.

Museums and Cultural Heritage. Moving into the museum sub-sector, confirming the results found under the university training profile, we can see a clear prevalence of women employed in the sector, mainly in junior and unprofessionalised roles.

Architecture and Design. Contrary to data from other sectors, in architecture and design there is an increase in the female component: in the <40 age group, in fact, 53% of professions are occupied by women, compared to 32% in the >50 age group.

Music. The sector where the gap is most marked – and worrying – is the music sector. According to the study Women in Music: In Europe, the music market is dominated by male professionals in a 3:1 ratio.

In recent years, interesting projects have sprung up to counter this situation of widespread inequality. One example is the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, which has developed Women Up, a database that collects and highlights female artists in its collections, together with a series of events and exhibitions dedicated to them.In recent years, interesting projects have sprung up to counter this situation of widespread inequality. One example is the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, which has developed Women Up, a database that collects and highlights female artists in its collections, together with a series of events and exhibitions dedicated to them.

At the international level, Creative Europe 2021-2027, by including gender equality as one of the programme’s priority objectives for the first time, demonstrates that it has been designed as a key instrument to support gender rebalancing in the cultural and creative sectors.

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