The attached Women in Theatre report brings together for the first time much of the major recent research on women in theatre – from Sphinx Theatre, University Women in the Arts, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Equity, ERA 50: 50, Black Womxn in Theatre, PIPA (Parents and Carers in Performing Arts), the December Group and Stage Directors UK.
This combined evidence suggests that gender inequality in theatre urgently needs to be addressed, with The Writers’ Guild highlighting that this issue is sometimes dismissed as resolved when this is not the case.
In addition, since the Women in Theatre Forum at Trafalgar Studios in 2020, on which this report is based, the coronavirus pandemic has occurred, with much research around the world suggesting gender inequality is likely to increase without specific measures to address it (as covered in Women’s Agenda, 2020, amongst other publications).
Furthermore, our own research has found zero references to women and gender inequality in the body of the Arts Council’s next ten year strategy document and that zero leadership positions on the Cultural Renewal Taskforce are occupied by women, with only three women on the taskforce as a whole.
These combined findings suggest that gender inequality in theatre, and in the arts more generally, is likely to increase unless specific measures are put in place to prevent this.
We urge the UK government, policy makers and arts organisations to use a gender lens in decision making (considering whether all decisions made will work for all genders) and also to ensure gender balanced decision-making teams to ensure that decisions for rebuilding post-pandemic work for all genders.
Read the full report here