Fostering Female Leaders In The Art World (Recording + Highlights)

On this edition of ArtEvolve, we were joined by Clare Hindle, Co-Director of World Art Foundations, a network for foundations to unite and share ideas, solve issues, and magnify their voices. To tie in with International Women’s Day this week, we talked about leadership in the art world and how organizations can move the equality needle. Here’s some highlights:


According to a 2018 World Bank Report, women spend between two and 10 extra hours a day than men caring others, including children, the elderly, and disabled people. Women also earn an average of 60-75% compared to men’s wages. Since that report, and the outbreak of the pandemic, opportunities for flexibility have increased in workplaces across many industries, but what does the art world landscape look like right now?


World Art Foundations (WAF) is engaged with lots of leadership positions, such as founders, directors, and so on. A few decades ago, these positions would have been predominantly held by men. Clare shared with us some WAF membership figures to show how the picture is changing:


  • Around two thirds of WAF organizations have women directors
  • 10% have women chairs/presidents (this is when an art foundation has been handed to the next generation and is run by the board rather than the founder)
  • 16% of WAF organizations were founded by women, 41% by men, and 43% by groups or corporate founders


What are some of the challenges women in the workplace face right now?

  • A lack of networking events and opportunities to connect face to face with peers, as a result of pandemic restrictions.
  • The gender pay gap (and pay in the arts in general)
  • Inadequate parental leave
  • A lack of understanding about intersectionality – people don’t all have the same experiences and ‘one size’ solutions don’t fit all. People with disabilities, members of the LBGTQ+ community, and minorities encounter more barriers to advancement and receive less support.


What are some of the ways organizations can better support their teams?

  • Transparency and the implementation of standards for promotions
  • Addressing unconscious biases in hiring processes
  • Mentoring and coaching programs
  • Identify the potential of individuals across all levels of the organization and work together to nurture them, with measurable goals and a robust appraisal system


Thank you to our guest, Clare Hindle of World Art Foundations, for joining us!