UK report finds ‘class pay gap’ in publishing industry
A new UK report on representation in the arts has revealed a ‘class pay gap’ in publishing of £23,000 (A$41,900) a year, and found that people of working-class origins make up just 12.6% of the sector.
Titled ‘Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries’, the report finds that working-class people continue to be underrepresented across the arts, while middle-class white men dominate the top jobs. The report states that ‘the situation in publishing is especially grave’, with more than one-third of the workers from upper-middle-class origins and only about one-eighth from working-class origins. ‘Gaps in pay mean that even when women or those from working-class origins make it into cultural occupations, they still struggle to compete with colleagues who are male or from upper-middle-class starting points,’ states the report.
The report, led by the University of Edinburgh and University of Sheffield and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, uses data from a number of sources, including from 2487 creative workers and from 237 follow-up interviews.
The report also said those it surveyed who were the best paid and held the most senior roles—paying over £50,000 (A$91,100) a year—were the ones who believed most strongly in meritocracy. Testimonies included in the report from two senior white women in the publishing industry both credited ‘tenacity’ to explain their success, ‘rather than their class, or networks in their perceptions of success’.
The Panic report, a detailed follow-up to research published in 2015, has been released by Create London and Arts Emergency, a charity set up to challenge the ‘old boys’ network’ in the creative industries.
Category: International news