Survey reveals arts dominated by the middle class

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19th February 2016 16:04 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

According to a recent survey into gender and ethnicity’s influence on arts careers, the United Kingdom’s creative industries are predominantly made up of middle class individuals.

The market research findings influenced key figures to voice their worries that the arts industry is a preserve of the rich, with a distinct lack of diversity.

Conducted by Goldsmiths University and Create, the arts organisation, the survey findings also revealed that more than 75 per cent of the respondents from the arts industry came from a middle class background, with parents who had worked in professional or managerial roles. As well as this, more than 50 per cent had at least one parent who had a degree.

Of the 2,539 participants in the survey, approximately 90 per cent said that they had been required to work unpaid at some point in their career, which in turn creates an industry which is unaffordable for those who need to work in order to get by. More than 25 per cent of the respondents said that they earn less than £5,000 and 18 per cent said that they earned between £5,000 and £15,000. A further 38 per cent said that they didn’t have a contact that ensured job security.

The survey revealed that the inconsistent rate of pay was more of a problem for women than men, with men earning £7,000 more on annum and a mean income of £29,000, in comparison to women who had a mean income of £22,000. The imbalance was consistent throughout all the sectors of the arts, irrespective of how long individuals had been in their career for.

The market research findings were released at a time when further cuts to arts are expected to be announced during the Government’s spending review.

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