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To ask the Scottish Government whether it is aware that only a reported four of the 24 publicly funded theatre companies are artistically led by women and, if so, what action it will take to improve the gender balance in the theatre in Scotland.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop (17/03/2016):

The gender balance in Scottish theatre is improving but needs to improve further. While it is not possible to have a direct comparison (due to different data collection methodology), the general trend is positive since 2009. Creative Scotland collects data directly from theatre organisations funded on a regular basis through their annual statistical survey which show a more positive picture than the Where are the Women? report cited.

Women made up 26% of theatre directors in 2009, rising to 47% in 2014-15. When compared internationally, Scotland was well ahead of Canada in 2010-11 where only 28% were women compared to the then figure of 38% in Scotland.

An artistic director (AD) is not employed in all theatre organisations funded by Creative Scotland, but of 24 AD posts in organisations funded by Creative Scotland, nine women have AD roles, representing 38%. The figures indicate that there are seven women (29%) with sole artistic leadership, with two of the theatre organisations having co-artistic directors – one man and one woman.

Creative Scotland is monitoring gender imbalance in theatre as part of its current equalities, diversity and inclusion review, which will provide more robust data on those employed in the theatre and wider arts sector. Theatre has particular issues as working hours are often not family friendly. Creative Scotland is making equalities activity, including gender balance, a core expectation for those in receipt of public funding.

Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 17/03/2016
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