Response #28: English Touring Theatre

Full stats in the link attached to the tweet below.

Response #27: Old Vic Theatre

0% representation across staff or management, the latter of which is 100% white.

Response #25: Strike A Light

9% representation across staff, but that number goes up across artists and freelancers.

Arts Council Diversity Report – Pages 4 – 5

After writing to various organisations about the importance of diversity data, page 4 outlines what data is featured. There is issues with this from the first paragraph.

They state: “We recognise diversity in its broadest sense.”

Nobody actually asked the Arts Council to think about diversity in the broadest sense. This, we feel has given us major problems for years. We don’t need to think in broad senses. We need to be specific and wherever possible, we have tried to make it clear to organisations responding to us, that disclosing data is only the first step. Specificity is key.

Anyway, they state they focus on 4 characteristics, as set out by the Equality Act 2010, Race (here

described as ethnicity). First of all, ethnicity and race are different things. The definition of race is “The concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics, predominantly skin colour. These usually result from genetic ancestry.” Ethnicity is defined as “the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.” So using these two interchangeably causes a lot of problems.

The same goes for sex and gender. Sex is defined as “either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions and gender is defined as “either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female“.

So, by these definitions, using sex and gender interchangeably is problematic as well. Sex is biological and gender are the constructs of societal and cultural views or beliefs on gender and its conduct. This is the issue that we’re having. Not being specific enough and not using words properly. also, socio-economical class is not mentioned, as it is not a characteristic under UK legislation, but we know data like this has been collected.

So, not using words properly and not being specific enough, let’s dive in.

They state that this report features on “the workforce of NPOs including the diversity of people in key leadership roles and at different job levels.” I question whether this includes freelance workers as well. We’ve been really keen to urge companies and organisations to reflect this in their responses.

The next points are “The Creative Case for Diversity ratings of NPOs against their new four point scale” and that the data will be broken into art forms, Arts Council areas and National and Area Councils. Geographically, we are getting more specificity. they highlight the diversity of the applicants for the project grants, developing your creative practice and the national lottery project grants. They also include audience data from NPOs. they state “we have continued to separate ‘White other’, the category which includes people from all other white backgrounds (including, for example, those
from other European countries), from ‘White British’.”

This admission that white other means white non-British is another issue. this goes deeper into their classification of everything else as BAME. BAME means non-white, but can also mean white non-British.

The Arts Council still uses “unknown” and “prefer not to say” to differentiate between where data has and has not been submitted.

They also state that “direct statistical comparisons with last year’s report, and the 2015-18 portfolio, are not possible. We will re-introduce comparisons in future reports.” which feels like a loophole. If the NPOs are getting exactly the same funds, can we not compare what they’ve been doing with this money? It might have even given them deeper insight into how effective their efforts are, and whether this money is being used correctly and how they can improve on that?

The period they are covering for this data is 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019. This is the first year of the funding period between 2018 and 2022. They have seen a larger increase in NPOs and include Libraries, Museums and SSOs (Sector Support Organisations). They include these in their data unless stated otherwise.

Okay, let’s get into it.

The first bit of data we see is, 11%. That’s the total percentage of the NPO workforce that is BME. BME board representation is 15%. BME executives in NPOs is 10%. BME chairs and artistic directors are at 11%.

Let’s talk about the use of BME or BAME. Within the Arts Council funding applications, it acts as a marker for the type of target audience for a project but also the demographic of the artistic team behind the project. It still lumps everyone in together, including non-british white artists. It’s not good enough. Also, it’s not specified, if we break down these percentages, what percentage are Black, Asian, or Jewish, Armenian and any other intersection.

Through the NPOs, the Arts Council see 6% of Disabled workers within the workforce. At board level, this is 7%. Chief executives are 9% with 8% Disabled artistic directors and 5% as chairs.

Female representation sees 47% female identifying workers through the workforce. 47% of board members identify as female. 52% of chief executives are female. 45% of artistic directors are female and there 40% female chairs over the workforce.

The Arts Council use the acronym LGBT (the shortened version of LGBTQIA+) as a marker for queer representation. this stands at 6% through the workforce overall. At board level, it is 7%. 13% are chief executives. 11% are artistic directors and 8% are chairs.

These percentages are totals, but so far, they do not represent all the intersections that marginalized groups face. This comes down to the interchangeable use of words that have very different definitions and shouldn’t be used as such.