Women to Watch list revealed

Felicity Heywood, 10.03.2010
Seven from the museum sector are on Women to Watch list
The list, unveiled today, which features 50 of the “most talented women leaders in the cultural and creative sector”, was established by the Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) to address the lack of women in senior leadership positions by inspiring and encouraging future generations of women to rise to the top.

The seven, pictured above from top left and clockwise, are Maria Balshaw, director of the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester; Freda Matassa, a freelance museum consultant and art collections manager; Jane Finnis, director, Culture24; Pim Baxter, deputy director and director of communications and development at the National Portrait Gallery; Lucy Worsley, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP); Kate Bellamy, the head of strategy and communications at the National Museums Directors’ Conference; and Ruth Gill, head of interpretation at HRP.

Diane Morgan, the Women to Watch project manager, said: “We liked the idea of a list [as opposed to an award] because it wasn’t about one person is better than the rest.” She said the aim was for the process to be transparent and democratic by inviting the whole sector to nominate.

A women’s network with a peer mentoring focus will run from April to December with involvement from the nominators of the 50 women and the judges.

The 50 women were selected, from a total of 200 nominees, by a high-profile judging panel that cut across arts and cultural forms. The panel included Liz Forgan, the chairwoman of Arts Council England, and Sarah Weir, head of arts and cultural strategy for the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Research carried out in 2009 by the CLP across the creative and cultural sector revealed 32,800 female leaders compared with 82,450 male leaders.

It also found that 23 per cent of businesses in the creative and cultural sector have an all female management team, compared with 13 per cent of all businesses across the UK.

However, 65 per cent of all creative and cultural businesses have an all male management team compared with 48 per cent across the UK.

See the full list here: http://www.culturalleadership.org.uk/w2wlist/