Where Are The Women? Part 2

Published: 9 November 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Director Jemima Levick in rehearsals for a new filmed version of Fibres, a co-production between Stellar Quines and the Citizens Theatre Credit: Tim Morozzo
Rehearsal image for Hope & Joy: Caitlin Skinner (director) and Ellie Stewart (writer) Credit: Jassy Earl
Where Are the Women? Part 2

This week saw the publication of new report into gender equality commissioned by award winning theatre company Stellar Quines.

Where Are The Women? Part 2 looks at the number of women with creative roles in subsidised theatres in Scotland and generally there is good news.

In the 2019–2020 period of study, more women, 48%, were in creative roles when stood against the similar 2014–2015 study which found only 39%, whilst also finding an overall reduction in the number of creative roles, which it attributes in part to an increase in co-productions.

In particular, the report shows that men dominated in artistic leadership of the six highest funded theatres holding five out of six artistic director roles, but, across the cohort, theatre companies with women in artistic leadership roles was up to 54% from 38% and half of theatre companies studied were artistically led solely by women, up from 17%.

Whilst the report shows significant increases in the number of lighting, set and costume designers and translators and adaptors, other figures were disappointing.

There were no such gains when it came to women performers, 52% as against 46% previously, women directors 48% versus 47% previously and commissioned playwrights was up to 41% from 39%.

The report shows a move in the right direction and puts Scottish theatre ahead in respect of gender parity when compared to similar studies, citing What Share of the Cake? (Sphinx 2019) for England, Où sont les femmes? (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatique 2012–2017) for France and work from La Asociación Clásicas y Modernas (2019) for Spain.

Jemima Levick, artistic director and chief executive of Stellar Quines, said, “we are really heartened to see these improvements since Christine’s original report. It suggests that the Scottish theatre industry took notice and acted to reverse some of the cripplingly low figures previously reported.

“Crucially, our next move is to ensure that further qualitative research begins: looking at the size and scale of productions being worked on, how strategy and decision making is evolving, the roles that haven’t yet been recorded here and, most importantly, the intersectional picture so that we better understand how diversity sits across these figures. While this is Christine’s last piece of formal research, it is just the beginning for Stellar Quines and we are excited to continue where she leaves off.”

Where Are The Women? Part 2 was commissioned from Christine Hamilton and Fraser White of Consult:Result. It follows Where are the women?, their earlier report published in 2016.