More women are needed in top-ranking arts posts, says Culture minister

Britain's creative industries are lagging behind other sectors in the fight for gender equality with leading arts institutions suffering from a dearth of women in high-ranking positions, the Culture minister Margaret Hodge has warned.

Outlining the "huge challenge" facing the arts world, Ms Hodge said it had a "longer way to go than other industries" before it achieved sufficient diversity. Far too few women occupied positions in the boardrooms and non-executive positions of the country's top arts institutions, she added. "Ironically, this sector has a longer way to travel to really reflect diversity than other sectors," she said. "There is the challenge around women not just in executive positions but also in non-executive positions... We need to ensure barriers are removed."

Despite the notable exceptions of some women, including Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank Centre, who have risen to leading positions in the arts world, almost all the key arts roles are occupied by men.

Ms Hodge's comments came as some of the industry's leading figures met at a review of the Cultural Leadership Programme, a £12m Government-backed initiative. Graham Devlin, who helped compile the review, said the arts world should "break down the... barriers to wider representation".

Several senior figures within performing and visual arts came out in support of Ms Hodge. Diane Lees, the director designate of the Imperial War Museum, who is also part of the Women Leaders in Museums Network, said not enough women made it to the top.

"There are huge numbers of women in the sector but they are not rising to the top or they were not previously rising to the top," she said. "It's about creating a welcoming environment. Because of the way globalisation and the way organisations are changing, there's a strong need for women's style of leadership which is about being consultative and having a more nurturing approach."

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, half of whose trustees are women, said: "We have a good number of senior women working in the museums sector and public galleries but not enough contribute as directors of the largest institutions."

Alistair Spalding, the artistic director of Sadler's Wells theatre, said keeping women in the industry was "10 times more difficult" due to expenses that came with motherhood, especially when it was difficult to survive at the early stages of a career where wages are low.

Chris Smith, the former culture secretary and the current director of the Clore Leadership Programme, called for more training programmes. "Part of the answer to the question [about lack of diversity] lies in investment in training," he said.

But Venu Dhupa, the British Council director of arts, said: "It's not about endless training courses but encouraging people to envision themselves in a position of authority, and being able to sustain that in a climate that does not always accommodate diversity."

10 men, two women – British art's most powerful

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate Galleries (Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives)

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum

Vikki Heywood, Executive director of Royal Shakespeare Company

Jude Kelly, Artistic director of the South Bank Centre

Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery

Charles Saumarez Smith, Chief executive of the Royal Academy

Chris Frayling, Chairman of The Arts Council

Nicholas Hytner, Artistic director of National Theatre

Tony Hall, Chief executive of Royal Opera House

Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival

Roger Wright, Director of The Proms music festival

Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
News
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
News
‘The Late Late Show’ presenter James Corden is joined by Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks for his first night as host
news
Arts and Entertainment
Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and Blackberry Wine, wrote a blog post attacking the app and questioning its apparent 'strong Christian bias'
books
Arts and Entertainment
Leading light: Sharma in London

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
News
Brooke Magnanti believes her reputation has been damaged by the claim
books
Arts and Entertainment
A large fire has broken out in London's historic Battersea Arts Centre
art
Arts and Entertainment
Orla Brady as Anne Meredith, MyAnna Buring as Elizabeth Quinn and Joanna Vanderham as Katherine McVitie in Banished
tvReview: Despite the gritty setting, this drama is as fluffy and soppy as a soap opera
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and co-director Richard Glatzer, standing, on the set during the filming of ‘Still Alice’ in New York
film
Arts and Entertainment
Great British Sewing Bee finalist Matt Chapple
tvReview: He wowed the judges with an avant garde dress
Arts and Entertainment
Driven to the edge: 'Top Gear' producer Oisin Tymon is said to have had a row with Clarkson
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nazi officer Matthias Schoenaerts embarks on an affair with married French woman Michelle Williams in 'Suite Francaise'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Prime movers: Caitriona Balfe (centre) and the cast of Outlander
TV
News
Feasting with panthers: Keynes
books
Arts and Entertainment
Strung out: Mumford & Sons
music
Arts and Entertainment
Avant-garde: Bjork
music
Arts and Entertainment
Despite a decade of reform, prosecutions and convictions of rape has remained consistently low
arts + entsAcademic and author Joanna Bourke in warning to arts world
Arts and Entertainment
Electro Velvet, made up of Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas, will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015
music
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn