Harassment of women in the arts


Sir, – Until we have fair gender balance on the boards of arts institutions, proper standards of governance (to include some impartial and independent appointments to boards of publicly funded arts organisations) and effective grievance and disciplinary procedures are made a condition of Arts Council funding, bullying and harassment of women will continue to be rife in the arts.

As pointed out by Fintan O’Toole in his article “If theatre is not a safe space, what is left?” (Opinion & Analysis, November 4th), the precarious nature of working conditions in the arts, with little or no security of employment at lower administrative levels, also contributes to a climate of fear. Such insecurity has become more and more the norm in an era of reduced and restricted funding. Which is how abuse thrives. Keep your head down and stay quiet becomes a survival strategy for those who wish to hang onto their jobs. The threat of never working in the area again can become a real scenario for those who dare to put their heads above the parapet.

Of course, it goes without saying that workers in the arts are rarely encouraged to join trade unions. – Yours, etc,


Curator, Director

and Project Manager,

Clarkwood Productions,

Kilmactranny, Co Sligo.