What can museums do to address the gender pay gap?
Museums Association
Clara Paillard, president, PCS Union Culture

“The gender pay gap is not just about the difference in pay between men and women doing the same job. It is also about the type of jobs women do. For example, most museum cleaners will be women and the lowest-paid, often migrant, workers.

Breaking the gender pay gap is not just about the glass ceiling, but also about the sticky floor. By raising low wages in general, and by supporting more women to get into higher-paid jobs, museums can help reduce inequalities of pay between men and women.”

Sarah Hartshorne, museum, development programmer officer, Leicestershire County Council

“I believe that flexible working is the key. Rather than a glass ceiling we now have a glass pyramid, where the lack of flexible approaches for our workforce’s senior leadership has meant that the significantly higher-paying roles are not attracting individuals who cannot work a traditional nine to five.

This affects women more than men, as shown by the gender imbalance at the more flexible/lower-paid part of the pyramid. I’d like to challenge all museums to provide more flexibility wherever possible at all levels of recruitment.”

Miranda Lowe, principal curator (crustacea), Natural History Museum, London

“Museums should offer more flexible working. This way of working must not be looked on as alien or been seen as an obstacle to women furthering their careers.

Within an organisation, women should feel confident enough to go for those senior roles, but there is some way to go for a consistent approach. Museums need to be more fair concerning the pay of all genders in comparable roles, to narrow the gap.

It is important to have women and diversity at all levels within museums, as this provides a well-balanced set of views.”

Kaye Hardyman, museum development officer, Museum Development North West

“The sector needs to take a good look at why the gender pay gap is so big, particularly when there are more women than men working in museums.

Less importance needs to be placed on presenteeism and more on effective leadership in an empathetic environment where it is ok to drop your children at school and be slightly later into the office or to work from home.

Women who take time away from work to have children and care for them should be supported to develop their leadership skills and regain the confidence they may have lost during time off.”

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