National Endowment for the Arts Issues Research Note on Women Artists: 1990 to 2005
Gender pay gap persists among full-time working artists
For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. -- A new National Endowment for the Arts research note shows that women are making gains in traditionally male artist occupations, but still earn less than male artists. Women Artists: 1990-2005 takes a closer look at female artist employment trends that were previously mentioned in the May 2008 NEA report Artists in the Workforce: 1990-2005.
Totaling almost 919,000 artists in 2005, women represented 46 percent of the artist labor force, comparable to their percentage of all civilian workers. The note reveals significant patterns in pay disparity, demographic and educational trends, and women’s advancement in various art fields over the past 15 years. This note draws on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2003-2005 American Community Surveys (ACS), along with the 1990 and 2000 population censuses.
"This important new report provides a factual overview of the situation of women in the American arts, said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Committed and entrepreneurial, women artists are making enormous progress, but still lag behind their male colleagues economically, especially in fields such as photography, design, and architecture.”
Among the key findings:
Female artists earn less than male artists. Women artists who work full-year, full-time earn $0.75 for every dollar made by men artists. Women workers in general earn $0.77 for every dollar earned by men.
Women make up just under half of all artists nationwide (46 percent), yet they are underrepresented in many artist professions. In 2003-2005, nearly 8 out of 10 announcers and architects were men.
Women have achieved a greater presence in some artist occupations. By 2003-2005, women made up 43 percent of all photographers and 22 percent of all architects – representing gains of 11 and 7 percent, respectively, since 1990.
Women artists are as likely to be married as female workers in general, but they are less likely to have children. In 2003-2005, more than half of all women artists and all women workers were married. Yet only 29 percent of women artists had children under 18, almost six percentage points lower than for women workers in general.
Female artists cluster in low-population states. Women made up more than 55 percent of the artist labor force in Iowa, Alaska, New Hampshire and Mississippi in 2003-2005. They represent well below half of all artists in New York (45.8 percent) and in California (42.6 percent).
"This important new report provides a factual overview of the situation of women in the American arts," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Committed and entrepreneurial, women artists are making enormous progress, but still lag behind their male colleagues economically, especially in fields such as photography, design, and architecture."
The NEA research note Women Artists: 1990-2005 is available for download at www.arts.gov/research/ResearchNotes_chrono.html.
The NEA Office of Research & Analysis issues periodic research reports, brochures, and notes on significant topics affecting artists and arts organizations. The NEA research note Women Artists: 1990-2005, as well as a full report and executive summary brochure of Artists in the Workforce, are available in print and electronic form in the Research section of the NEA website, www.arts.gov.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency