The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has released a new report, titled “Gender Parity in Canadian Artistic and Cultural Organizations.” The report draws upon communications with over a dozen Canadian arts organizations. Among the recommendations: data on gender parity among the leadership and personnel of arts organizations should be collected; it is incumbent upon the Government of Canada to address child care as a barrier to women’s advancement in the arts; and Canadian Heritage should tie federal funding for arts and culture organizations to gender parity.
The report, which draws evidence from high-level personnel from organizations like the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Canadian Arts Coalition and more, brings several statistics to light. Notably, although women “represent 51% of artists and 50% of cultural workers, they represent only 25% of artistic directors.” Women in top positions at major galleries also earn 20% less than men in similar positions.
The committee report also emphasized that racialized women face even more substantial barriers to equity. The Canadian Arts Coalition noted that these women “are much more likely to have precarious contract positions and less likely to be in full-time stable positions of leadership; this inequity is compounded for women who are also Indigenous, radicalized, seniors, disabled and so on.”