Why The Representation Of Female Artists Is More Important Now Than Ever

Today more women than ever before dominate the working world. Since the 60s this number has continued to rise. However, the under representation and lack of pay given to women in fields such as sport, art, and science is something that is becoming increasingly significant due to the number of women that are graduating from university with degrees, this differs to the proportion of men in the year 2019.

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The proportion of women graduating with degrees in the arts to men stands at over 63%. Yet the question still stands today, why does it take almost double the amount of time for the work of female artists to be shown in galleries and push to the top. 

This I know, is no revelation. 

It’s something that women have been arguing against for decades and with the launch of The Gorilla Girls in the 1980s, showcasing unique female voices within the arts I feel that this is something that we need to keep pushing today. 

In the space of 30 years, I think it’s important that we examine how the under representation of women is still an issue within the arts and creative industries. 

In 2016, a study by the Freelands Foundation showed that over 63% of people studying the Arts at University level are women. Making up a majority not seen in many other fields. However, how is it that less than a third of artists represented by London galleries are women?. Today, in 2019 as the #MeToo movement showed, women are angry, have a lot to say, and offer a unique perspective that in many cases has never been seen before. 

The work of women needs to be exhibited and considered at the same level as men, otherwise, nothing will change. In 50 years we’ll still be campaigning for equal pay, the rights over our bodies and fighting for the right to vote worldwide. The voice of women today, I feel, is stronger now more than ever, women have a unique and original voice that needs to be heard. 

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Without female leadership at the top, women will never feel that they are represented and therefore is why more women than ever are dropping out of a career in the arts, post university education. A lack of women at the top, in a largely white,male industry results in the reasons why that still today only 16% of women become film directors and only make up 30% of artists exhibited in galleries worldwide. Without this leadership at the top, the industry and many others will never change, and how do we do this? We target men.  

Worldwide, it's safe to say that in 2019 we are in a period of change. A social shift is happening, whether that be for the better or worse I’m not sure. In a world where Brexit means Brexit and Donald Trump rules the free world, the odds aren't exactly in favour of minority groups. Women, however, are not a minority—they are over 50% of the population and their representation is important to how society is shaped and thinks. We need these men at the top to include women, to see their voice as equal.

This is changing, however, progress is slow in a time where inclusivity for all has never been more important. 

Written By Alice Poole


City Girl