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Gender at Work: The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural Industries

The School of Labour Studies presents Dr. Amanda Coles will speak on 'Gender at Work: The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural Industries' Thursday, October 18, 2:30 p.m., L.R. Wilson Hall, Room 5001. All welcome!

Sep 21, 2018

Dr. Amanda Coles - 'Gender at Work: The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural Industries' 

A growing body of scholarly and industry research demonstrates that gender inequality is a defining feature of work in the creative economy. However, the majority of this research is sector-specific (film, dance, theatre, visual arts, etc.). This approach has been determinate in focusing industry and scholarly attention on the dynamics, and pressure points/change levers to promote gender equity specific to the sector under study (#metoo, #oscarsowhite, #oscarsomale). However, sector-specific approaches have two key shortcomings. First, sectoral studies fail to capture commonalities and/or differences in the gendered dynamics of work and careers for professional artists and cultural workers across sectors. Secondly, and consequently, we fail to capture the systemic nature of the ways in which gender shapes the individual and collective experiences of artists and cultural workers as a whole.

My talk will present the main findings from a forthcoming 2018 research report prepared for the Ontario Arts Council that provides an overarching synthesis of existing data on the status of women in the arts in Ontario/ Canada. The report covers six sectors: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music, and media arts/screen, and is the first comprehensive cross-sectoral report of its kind in the Canadian context. I will present an analysis of key indicators that illuminate our understanding of the organisation of work and labour markets, occupations, career paths, training and professional development, leadership and governance, and reward and recognition programs.

Artists and cultural workers tell stories through their work. Stories are a means by which we share our personal and collective experiences as a society. The products of the arts and cultural industries not only reflect our social world, but shape it. Gender inequality in the arts and cultural industries consequently must be understood as both an employment equity issue for the artists and cultural workers telling their stories, as well as socio-cultural issue for the audiences and publics who consume their stories.

When: Thursday, October 18, 2:30 p.m.
Where: L.R. Wilson Hall, Room 5001

All welcome!