A Question of Equity - April 1990

Submitted by root on Mon, 08/07/2017 - 17:44

Women in the Arts

1. EMPLOYMENT: b) Disabled Workers cont.

The basic difficulties facing disabled people looking for employment can be clearly seen from the response to the question as to whether an organisation had facilities for disabled workers. Of the 80 organisations which employed people (that is excluding amateur societies and voluntary organisations with no employees):-
i)     35 (44%) said they had no facilities
ii)    16 (20%) did not respond to this question - in many cases marking    it as not applicable.
iii)   29 (36%) said they had facilities for disabled workers but of these 6   specified that access was to part of the building only. When asked to  describe the facilities available, all specified access and disabled toilets, only 2 organisations mentioned any other kind of facility or support.


Not that there is necessarily a direct correlation between having the facilities to employ disabled people and employing them. Within the local authority sector, for instance, the majority of organisations had disabled access and toilets and yet during the period covered by this report there was no disabled person employed by a local authority within the area of the arts.

The above illustrates a basic fact which has emerged from this research - namely that having an equal opportunities policy is only a very small step on the path to achieving equal opportunities. This can be seen from the fact that over 90% of all organisations stated that they had an equal opportunities policy and that this policy was monitored, but when it came to questions which related to how that policy was reflected in practice, the answers, as those relating to facilities for disabled workers illustrate, were far less satisfactory. This is something I discuss in greater depth later in this report.

c) Women as Earners

The subsidised arts, as Peter Hall pointed out, are not in general a career to choose if one wants to earn a lot of money - salaries are much lower than in industry or in the professions. Table 3 illustrates the earnings of full and part-time workers within the professional arts on Merseyside; it includes those working within arts educational institutions (where the earnings tend to be higher), those working within local authorities, and those working within the voluntary sector.

The difference in the number of workers between Table 1 and Table 3 below is explained by the fact that 5 organisations did not provide details as to earnings as they regarded this as confidential information. This was despite reassurances that all data collected through the questionnaires would be treated as confidential and used only within a statistical analysis.