Gender and Work in the Creative Industries Seminar

Tamsyn Dent, Lecturer in Cultural Work CMCI

In March 2022 members from CMCI launched the Gender and Work in the Creative Industries (GWCI) research cluster with a conference that explored current research undertaken across the department and beyond related to questions of gender and creative work. The event included a conversation between CMCI’s Kate MacMillan and Dorothy Price from the Courtauld on intersectional obstacles to female artists in Britain. Kate presented her work on the representation of female artists within the UK visual arts sector and the conversation considered questions of cultural capital and the ecology of the visual arts sector which is based on the intersection between the commercial market and publicly funded institutions.

Virginia Crisp presented her work on women in the Danish gaming industry, a research project that was inspired by a short article written in the Danish Film Institute in 2013 (access here) which made broad claims of diversity within the Danish Games industry. Virginia’s research, based on a series of interviews undertaken with Danish-based workers in the games sector considered the difference between working conditions in comparison to the North American experience and found that although there were positive accounts of inclusive workplaces, broader societal issues linked to sexism, racism and homophobia continued to create barriers of access.

The final presentation led by Natalie Wreyford alongside Rowan Aust from the University of Huddersfield and Natalie Grant who is the Communications Manager & Co-Director of Sharemytellyjob a job-sharing and support platform for workers in the television sector, introduced the findings from the Locked down and locked out report. The report, written in collaboration with Helen Kennedy and Jack Newsinger from the University of Nottingham addressed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the television careers of women with children. Based on a survey of 500 mothers who worked across unscripted TV entertainment, documentary, sport, news and current affairs, reality TV, studio quiz shows and online or branded content production, the report documents the particular barriers to television employment faced by women with children during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

This is the first event to emerge from the GWCI research cluster led by Wing-Fai Leung and Natalie Wreyford to bring together the body of research interested in the relationship between gender and creative work linked to intersectional inequalities that impact access, experience, progression and retention. The cluster seeks to actively support collaborative research and innovation through engaging with other national and international research communities, as well as policymakers, public organisations and activist groups. In so doing, GWCI advocates for impactful research to bring about more equal labour conditions in the cultural and creative sector.