Attractions industry news

14 Feb 2019

Arts Council’s new diversity report shows BME representation below English average

Only 5 per cent of staff members are not white at Arts Council England (ACE) major partner museums (MPMs) while 16 per cent of the working age population are from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds in England, a new report from the organisation has found.

ACE’s fourth annual diversity report, called Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case, surveyed its MPMs during the 2017/18 period and found that while overall there has been a moderate increase in proportionate BME representation, it is still well behind the national average.

BME representation increased by one point from 4 per cent in the previous two-year period of 2015/16 at ACE MPMs.

Meanwhile, female workers within the total National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and MPM workforce decreased.

NPO female representation dropped five points to 50 per cent from 2015/16’s figure of 55 per cent, while MPM representation fell from 62 per cent to 52 per cent. Given how high those figures are, it will perhaps not be seen as too worrying and there was a minor improvement in senior-level female representation on boards at MPMs, rising from 38 per cent in 2015/16 to 39 per cent in 2017/18.

Disabled worker numbers rose by a point from 4 per cent to 5 per cent at NPOs and remained at 4 per cent at MPMs in the period.

The percentage of disabled people on NPO boards has stayed 7 per cent while there was a decrease from 4 per cent to 2 per cent across MPM boards.

"The data from our annual diversity report shows where we are on the journey to becoming a better representative of society," said ACE chair, Nicholas Serota.

"There's been some progress in some areas; in others, we see little momentum.

"We must be more focussed in our approach to the issues and from next year we will be reporting in greater detail, looking at diversity in the context of the funding organisations receive as well as their artistic disciplines."

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