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More Than a Number

Research conducted by the famous USC Annenberg studio

We live in an era and place where our voices are being heard more than ever before and women are both influencing the current social climate, and preparing the world for a more accepting, just future. Our predecessors have won the right to be heard so that we can now take important conversations into action!

Women’s Artistic Leadership Initiative has created programs like the Summer Leadership Intensive where young female artists gain valuable skills that will equip them to become community leaders while building a network of supportive peers and professionals. The current conversational landscape highlighted in this post may surprise you, but emphasize the importance of Women’s ALI’s programs and educating female artists for change.


Research conducted by the famous USC Annenberg studio WOULD YOU BELIEVE? From a study published in Social Currents notes: - Women working across arts professions make almost $20,000 less per year than men, before controlling for other factors.

- Women in the United States make only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men

“It shows stark realities underneath the otherwise progressive rhetoric and perception of the creative sector. While liberal norms and socially progressive attitudes tend to dominate the arts discourse, when it comes to pay the field resembles those traditionally viewed as more conservative.”

- Although women in the arts do not see a “maternity penalty” (decrease in salary for becoming mothers), they do not receive the same “marriage premium”—an increase in pay for married men of roughly $7,200 per year. - Men also receive an income bump when they become fathers, according to the study. Each dependent increases a man’s earnings by roughly $8,000.

“So while women working in the arts aren’t economically penalized for having children as they might be in other fields, they don’t experience the same benefits that men do.”

WOMEN AND OPERA All together, women represented only 36% of these high leadership positions at opera companies in north America. That shows an underwhelming 14% increase over the last 10 years. Of that, little to no change occurred in level one and level two companies.

According to the National Opera of America:


Although these statistics can seem disheartening, the truth is the stage is poised for us to make a difference. Women’s ALI is ecstatic about the bright future for women in the arts and we are dedicated to helping ensure that young female artists like YOU are not just another statistic! Learn more about the Summer Leadership Intensive and how we can help you or someone you know identify their own personal interests and assist in building a network that will impact the arts.

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