2008 Report on Gender Portrayal and Employment Opportunities for Performers

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This report is the outcome of FIA’s year-long project “Changing Gender Portrayal: Promoting Employment Opportunities for Women in the Performing Arts”. You can read more about the actions of the project and the background to the research in the project section. The research strand of the project was a key part of the project work. It entailed an ambitious reporting exercise that seeks to capture a snapshot of the experience of performers across Europe in relation to how their age and gender profile impacts on their employment opportunities.The report was launched in the European Parliament at a special Press/Launch event hosted by MEP Proinsias de Rossa on the 27th of January 2009.

The study was carried out by Dr. Deborah Dean, of the Industrial Relations Research Unit of Warwick University, UK, which is part of the European Industrial Relations Observatory network of leading research institutes. The principal study method was an online questionnaire.The Questionnaire was managed by an organisation specialised in online research surveys, called “Quadresearch”. The online questionnaire was available for completion by performers from all over Europe on the Quadresearch website in English, Spanish, French and German. It was widely distributed by the member unions of EuroFIA and was even been translated into additional languages on their initiative, in order to reach the widest possible audience. It is no longer online, as it was taken down once the research was completed. Some 2000 responses were received. If you would like to consult a paper version of the questionnaire for information, it is available from the FIA office.

The research is further completed by a number of structured interviews undertaken by member unions of EuroFIA. The aim is to gain an insight into the role and views of those who influence gender portrayal on screen and in theatres, in order to better understand how to have an impact in this area. Casting directors, writers, directors and theatre managers are among the “gatekeepers” that the member unions have interviewed. A number of model questions were been prepared in order to help members to structure these interviews.  which was made available in a variety of languages to performers across the EU, through the EuroFIA member unions. The responses (46% Male and 54% Female) constitute a unique snapshot of the professional experience of performers in Europe.

The final research report aims to establish an overview of how gender and aging impact on the employment conditions of performers: quality and variety of the work available to them; career length; income levels etc. Surprisingly, despite the variety of cultural traditions, the results were very consistent across the EU. The findings are particularly disquieting in light of the fact that performing is a “gender-integrated” career (ie: exactly the same task is carried out by men and women and this has been the case for hundreds of years) – yet inequalities persist.

The Report is available for download below in four languages. It is also available on CD Rom on request to the FIA secretariat.

Age, Gender and Performer Employment in Europe
Age, Genre et Emploi des Artistes-Interprètes en Europe
Alter, Geschlecht und Beschäftigung von darbietenden Künstlerinnen und Künstler in Europa
Edad, Género y el Empleo de Los Artistas-Intérpretes en Europa

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