For the first time the Arts Council has collected and published data on the socio-economic profile of audiences. The Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case 2015/16 report shows that those most actively involved in arts and culture tend to be from the most privileged parts of society.

This adds to previous research from DCMS’s Taking Part surveys which looked at the diversity of audiences and revealed that Black, minority ethnic, and disabled audiences continue to be underrepresented.  The report shows that there are signs of a cultural shift emerging around workforce, with more black and minority representation, but that more progress was needed, particularly in the area of disabled representation.

Speaking at the event, ACE’s Chief Executive Darren Henley said: “Our challenge is to remain focused on that mission – to bring great art and culture to everyone.”

Henley who has authored two Government reports on the importance of cultural education, added: “From cultural education, through apprenticeships, training and skills, to higher education, to leadership opportunities. We need to see where the barriers and gaps are, and how we can overcome these. Any young person, whether disabled or not, black, Asian or working-class white, urban or rural, should feel that if they’ve got the talent and the commitment, we’re offering them a roadmap to success.”

It is also the first time the Arts Council has collected diversity data on leadership. The data reveals that women, and people who identified as Black, minority ethnic or disabled, are underrepresented in boards and senior roles in the arts and culture sector. Henley called for sustained investment in talent across the sector: “That means putting diverse talent at the centre of our work and at the top of our organisations.”

He also reiterated ACE’s commitment to capturing reliable data as this remains crucial to the sector’s case for public investment and said the organisation must be able to present an accurate picture of progress and of problems and what it was going to do about them.

Key report findings include:

Sector Workforce:

From data submitted by National Portfolio Organisations we see that:

  • 17 % of the workforce is Black and minority ethnic
  • 4% of the workforce identifies as disabled
  • 55% of the workforce are female
  • The most represented age group was aged between 20 and 34, which made up 29% of the workforce

From data submitted by Major Partner Museums we see that:

  • 7% of the workforce is Black and minority ethnic
  • 4% of the workforce identifies as disabled
  • 62% of the workforce are female
  • The most represented age group was aged between 20 and 34, which made up 17% of the workforce

Leadership:

  • 8% of chief executives, 10% of artistic directors, and 9% of chairs, are black and minority ethnic.
  • 5% of the Chief Executives, Artistic Directors and Chairs have a disability.
  • And although well over half of the sector workforce is female, percentages are lower in the most senior positions: 43% of Chief Executives, 28% of Artistic Directors and 32% of Chairs are women

Arts Council England’s Workforce:

  • 11% of the workforce and 18% of directors are Black and minority ethnic
  • 4% of the workforce identifies as disabled
  • 65% workforce are female
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