A Question of Equity - April 1990

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

 Women in the Arts

2. EQUAL OPPORTUNIHES: b) Recruitment cont

There is an argument that the public advertising of posts is not enough; that a more pro-active stance is required. That to be serious about equal opportunities means organi­sations need to make efforts to ensure that their 'advertising' reaches the people they want to encourage to apply. That is that organisations should advertise within the specialist press, contact umbrella organisations within specific communities and so on. Whether advertising in specialist presses means that more people apply from those communities is not something I have an answer to - I suspect it is different for different communities - but such advertising certainly indicates a desire on the part of an organisation to access that community.

The situation for women is different from the situation of the other groups or communities which are targeted. That is to say women are not a minority and there are no organisations which could even begin to provide access to the majority of women. The women's press, for instance,  has never reached more than a tiny minority of women and within Merseyside there is no umbrella organisation for women which could claim to be working on behalf of the majority of women. Therefore the situation for women can only be considered where women are also part of some other community - that is, one can consider the efforts made to recruit disabled women in a way that one cannot consider attempts made to recruit women in general.

Of the 71 employing organisations in the field of the professional arts (non-local authority, local authority and educational) 7 organisations did not respond to the question on recruitment. The majority of organisations used more than one method to recruit their staff and free-lance workers.

54 organisations (that is 76%) advertised their vacancies in the press; that is the local press, the national press and the trade journals. Of these, 3 organisations advertised in the local press only and3 advertised in trade journals only. 18 organisations (that is 25%) advertised in the Black and Asian press, with the majority of these 18 also advertising in the Chinese press. However only 6 and 7 organisations respectively advertised in the disabled and the women's press.

Some organisations obviously targeted their advertising, others obviously felt that specific communities could be better reached by contacting specific organisations such as Arts Integration Merseyside, South Liverpool Personnel, the Merseyside Community Relations Council, etc. Overall 32% of organisations made some effort to reach the black com­munities, and 15 % made an effort to reach the disabled communities.

Local authority organisations without exception used internal advertising and they were also the organisations which least targeted their advertising at specific communities. Similarly the arts educational organisations tended to limit their advertising to the na­tional, local and trade press.