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Shifting the balance: cultural diversity in leadership within the Australian arts, screen and creative sectors

CALD Arts Screen industry Creative workforce Barriers to work Discrimination Cultural industries Minority groups Workforce diversity Australia

Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS) undertook research in February 2018 to investigate levels of representation of culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CALD) Australians in leadership positions within the country’s major arts, screen and cultural organisations. The data collected and analysed in this report is current as at 2 April 2018.

One of the key aims of this research is to establish baseline data about the level of CALD representation in the leadership positions of Australia’s major cultural organisations. This decision to focus on leadership was in recognition of the significant role that cultural sector leaders play in terms of decision making, influencing priorities, setting agendas, gatekeeping and shaping organisational culture.

For this report, we have examined the cultural backgrounds of 1,980 Board chairs and members, chief executive officers, creative directors, senior executives and award panel judges from 200 major cultural organisations, government bodies and award panels. These organisations represent the nation’s leading arts, screen, creative and heritage organisations and awards from the not-for-profit, government and for-profit sectors.

By undertaking this project and providing this information, it is our aim that creative sector organisations will be better able to identify and address barriers to inclusion and participation by people with CALD backgrounds, including in programming and employment.

Key findings:

  • As at 2 April 2018, CALD Australians were under-represented across every leadership role in every cultural sector, organisational type and jurisdiction included in this study.
  • CALD Australians are under-represented in Board member and executive roles across all leading Australian creative sector organisations.
  • CALD Australians were under-represented at the leadership level of every cultural sector.
  • In creative sector roles, CALD Australians were under-represented across for-profit organisations, not-for-profit organisations and government bodies.
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