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The creative industries in Scotland: flexible friends or foes?

Marcella, Rita; Illingworth, Lorraine; Baxter, Graeme


Lorraine Illingworth

Graeme Baxter


Karen Ross

Stuart Price


While the Scottish creative sector specifically has been largely ignored in the published literature, there have been several national (i.e. UK) and international studies of women's employment in the creative or cultural industries, which indicate that women, despite forming a large part of the creative workforce, are still failing to achieve parity in terms of entry, retention, progression and remuneration. For example, in a major study of the status of women in the cultural labour market throughout Europe, Cliche et al (2000) established that, while women occupy on average 40% of cultural jobs, they earn between 15-30% less than men in the same occupations. This study also established that women were under-represented in administrative and artistic decision-making positions (particularly in the advertising, film, music and publishing industries), and that female artists in the fields of architecture, music, literature, and the visual and performing arts generally receive far less public recognition (in terms of awards, grants and scholarships) than their male counterparts. Studies such as the one described above, however, have tended to consist of surveys, which have gathered somewhat superficial data about the numbers of women working in the sector, their salaries and their status. Few have explored in any depth the factors which have resulted in these inequalities. With this in mind, throughout 2004 and 2005, a team of researchers from the Aberdeen Business School at The Robert Gordon University undertook a two-year research project, funded by the European Social Fund, which investigated the barriers, problems and difficulties encountered by women in the creative industries in Scotland, in terms of employment, career progression, work-life balance, training and income-generating opportunities, and which sought to improve understanding of best practice in implementing active gender policies from the perspective both of creative companies and the women they employ.


MARCELLA, R., ILLINGWORTH, L. and BAXTER, G. 2008. The creative industries in Scotland: flexible friends or foes? In Ross, K. and Price, S. (eds.) Popular media and communication: essays on publics, practices and processes. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pages 102-129.

Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2008
Publication Date Jan 8, 2008
Deposit Date May 2, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 2, 2017
Publisher Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Pages 102-129
Book Title Popular media and communication: essays on publics, practices and processes
ISBN 9781847186263
Keywords Scotland; Women and employment; Gender discrimination; Gender inequality; Creative industries
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