Towards gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors

Towards gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors

The report “Towards gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors” provides recommendations and an overview of over 250 good practices from all over the EU to improve the working conditions of women.

The overall situation of women in the cultural and creative sectors has been improving, but the progress is slow. This is the main takeaway of the report on gender equality. The report was written and edited by the Open Method of Coordination Working Group of Member State’s experts.


Sources of inequality in the cultural and creative sectors

According to the report, accessing the necessary resources and asserting oneself in the cultural and creative labour market represents a challenge to women due to the flexible, project-based and freelance nature of working. The need for self-promotion and frequent travel are other sources of challenges for women in these sectors.

Due to harmful stereotyping, exclusion from networks, uneven access to resources, hidden relations of power and the burden of unpaid care work, these conditions are more challenging for women. This is even more the case when intersectional factors are taken into consideration.

Key challenges for gender equality

The report provides a general overview of the gender gaps in the cultural and creative sectors, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focusses on the following key challenges

  1. gender stereotypes
  2. sexual harassment
  3. access to the labour market and the gender pay gap
  4. access to resources
  5. access to leadership positions and female entrepreneurship

Addressing those in positions of power

The report is addressed at all policy makers and people in positions of power, as well as the cultural and creative sectors, the media, and the education sector. It details extensive recommendations and good practices on how to implement these.

Apart from targeted guidelines tackling the key challenges mentioned above, the report comes up with general recommendations

  1. improved collection of reliable and comparable data on the gender gaps across the EU
  2. the need for gender sensitive COVID-19 recovery actions
  3. the importance of using gender-sensitive language, implementing gender equality in the workplace as well as gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming methodologies

The implementation of some specific recommendations has already started in the new Creative Europe programme (2021-2027).


The report, implementing the Council Work plan for culture 2019-2022, was drafted by experts from 22 EU Member States. The process was coordinated by the European Commission.