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Gender equality

The role of the creative industry countering stereotypes

The cultural and creative industry has always played a fundamental part over revolutions that changed every age, thanks to his capabilities to interact with the collective immagination and to influence social values.

We saw a lot of changes in the society during last years, like the contrast to stereotypes and gender disequality – also international politics and Agenda 2030 of the United Nations have discuss about this topic – and, of course, the culture industry have played his role too. Many women work in the cultural industry (47.7% compared to 45.9% of the total economy) but despite this, they are victim of the same stereotypes of the other professional areas.

The issue of gender equality in the cultural industry had studied for the first time in 2014 by Unesco through the report “Gender Equality: Heritage and Creativity“: a study on the case studies implemented up to that moment on gender equality and emancipation of women in the creative areas. The result has been an evidence of the marginalization of women from cultural life and the segregation of them to specific activities with low chanses to access to decision-making roles.

defence of rights

Although the actions in defence of women’s rights have multiplied during last years, the actual situation is almost the same of the past, and women haven’t managed to break the glass ceiling yet, as confirmed by the latest research by the European Commission “Towards gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors“. The research analizes the status of female employment in the cultural and creative industry within the work plan of the Council for Culture 2019-2022. According to the European report, for culture area professions the gender gap shows up just upon starting the professional career: during the academic career, women are over 65% of people studying humanities courses, but this figure becomes dramatically low when they are hired until it almost completely disappears in managerial roles.

To balance gender equality in the cultural area, it’s essential that these issues appear at the top of the list of public policies in the coming years.

In this way, initiatives such as the one carried out by Creative Europe are very important. It is the program of European Commission to give support to culture and audiovisual industries, which 2021-2027 announcement have been implemented with valuation criteria that focus attention on gender perspective to distribute equal funding.

contrast to stereotypes

Artistic and cultural institutions have the responsibility to promote interventions and actions to encourage the equity and the correct representation of women, but we shouldn’t underestimate the contribution that small businesses can make every day for this battle. We too, in Officine B12, work daily in the name of social inclusion and gender equality. Our Ethical Poster is inspired by these principles, and one of our initiatives is just the contrast to gender stereotypes:

"In a situation where there is a very low presence of women at managerial levels in Italian companies, Officine B12 was founded by a woman and a man who share equal rights, responsibilities and remuneration. At the same time, while not encouraging a vertical and hierarchical view of the business organisation, we promote greater female representation in positions of responsibility and leadership."

balance gender equality

It’s not a mystery that we have a long way in front of us yet and that it is necessary to speed up the changing process, but it is equally clear that it is no longer possible to go back.