New report provides insight into the status of women in the arts in Canada

This report provides an important synthesis of existing research on the status of women in the arts in Ontario and Canada.

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The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has released The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural industries: Research review 2010-2018, a report commissioned by OAC from a research team led by Dr. Amanda Coles, a Canadian on faculty at Australia’s Deakin University.

This report provides an important synthesis of existing research on the status of women in the arts in Ontario and Canada. The majority of existing research focuses on specific sectors, such as media arts/screen, or theatre, etc., rather than addressing the arts and cultural industries as a whole.

The report covers six sectors: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music, and media arts/screen.

Key Findings from the Report

Earnings and income

  • Research shows a pervasive gender-based income gap across all six sectors under review. Overall, women’s average incomes are lower than their male peers – a defining feature of work in the Canadian arts and cultural industries.

Education and training

  • Gender inequality in the arts and cultural industries cannot be explained by the education or skill of professional female artists and cultural workers. A cross-sectoral analysis of available data on education and training clearly shows that across all six sectors, women are as highly educated as men.

Leadership

  • Women are well represented in administrative leadership roles in visual arts, publishing, and theatre, and in the top tier of Canadian orchestras. Executive and organizational leadership roles in the music industry are male-dominated. There is a notable shortage of data on organizational leadership in broadcasting, film and television production, the interactive digital media sector, and dance.
  • Women are severely under-represented in key artistic leadership roles in media arts/screen, theatre and music. In contrast, key artistic leadership roles in visual arts and publishing, such as curators and editors, are female dominated.

Career and industry recognition

  • Across all sectors, women’s artistic and creative works receive significantly less public visibility (for example, productions or exhibitions) and recognition (awards) than those of men.

 

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