European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Gender balance in the cultural and creative sectors: the brainstorming report

Ilustration of two planets
Here is the outcome of our structured dialogue with the European Commission on gender equality in the cultural sector.

In 2019, the ENCC applied and was selected to participate in a structured dialogue with the EU Commission about Gender Equality in the cultural sector. The process was facilitated by Voices of Culture. Along with 34 other organisations from the cultural sector, we attended a 2-day brainstorming meeting in September 2019, from which this report was developed. The group presented it in November to representatives from the European Commission, as well as experts from member states who had just been designated to form an OMC (Open Method of Coordination) group on the same topic. 

Read or download the full report

Find out more about Voices of Culture structured dialogue processes and topics

Starting from the largely sufficient data proving that discrimination and inequality exist, the report highlights that gender equality is a pillar of cultural diversity, and has to be addressed at all levels of cultural policy-making, through cross-sectoral action, and through earmarking financial resources for funding specific types of gender empowerment programmes.

A quick look at a few recommendations to improve gender equality in culture: 

  • look at gender balance through the lens of intersectionality

  • tackle and change patriarchal systems, which go against the values of the EU

  • show the value of leadership by mature women who have already raised their children 

  • share success stories of women's cultural cooperation projects

  • make childcare in eligible Creative Europe costs

  • fund mentorship programmes for women in the cultural and creative sectors (and don't forget to train the mentors)

  • enable more structures for protecting cultural workers against sexual violence, including contact points for confidential reporting

  • make it a binding obligation for all cultural organisations who are recipients of EU funding to have an anti-harassment policy

  • bring overall legislation on gender equality to the highest level existing in the EU

  • use penalties to enforce existing legislation

  • make data on cultural pay scales available, transparent, and comparable

  • in the distribution of public resources, make sure that publicly funded cultural organisations and projects apply the 50/50 rule

  • associate quotas and anonymous applications in the recruitment of cultural gatekeepers and other power positions

  • fund comprehensive data-gathering that includes indicators on non-binary gender settings in culture

  • recognise how interlocking systems of power affect different marginalised groups

  • make more room for arts education and spaces for creativity, so that people can escape stereotypes and discover who they are.

Read the full report for much more.