Friday, May 26, 2006

Creative Industires Women in business

Again another great stretch of time has passed since I last posted. This is something to do with spending the whole of April in New Zealand and Germany and taking a little longer than anticipated to get back into the swing of blogging - still enough excuses!

Although I have not been blogging I have been heavily involved in writing up some of the findings of recent research. As reasonably new to this whole research gig I can tell you that academic writing is hard (for me at least) and hugely time consuming this is mainly due to the amount of reading, understanding, salient point finding and then re-writing that is required. But I could go on and on about this - it is something I feel I am only really just getting the hang of and understanding the merit of the depth of literature review and rigour required.

More interestingly, perhaps, than my ponderings on writing are what I/we have been reporting on. One of the papers looks at some of the initial finding of a piece of research I've been involved in over the last twelve months which looks at female entrepreneurship in the creative industries. This has been for me a fascinating study into an area I have personal experience of and in some ways proved to back up all of the things I ever new about this sector, briefly these comprise of issues around friendship, networks, the night-time economy and fluid teams. Of course you'll have to wait for the paper to be published (if ever).

What was unexpected for me was how hard it proved to be to find the women. I was looking for women across the sector who were running established businesses (with employees and trading more than a year). This proved to be much harder than anticipated. Subsequent research has born out this initial revealing finding. Women are indeed under-represented in the sector in terms of business owners for example in Birmingham (UK) only 17% of businesses in the film and TV sub-sector are run by women. This is not to say this is the case across the country or sector but is certainly indicative of the situation I came across.

Anyway that is all for now just a little food for thought. Why are there so few women running businesses in the sector and does it matter?


Kalwant Ajimal FRSA said...

Charlotte, women have been working in creative business for many years but they do not often see themselves as entrepreneurs! I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to look into many UK based arts organisations, working in different capacities and with different hats. A study of two case studies of major national dance organisations showed that the creative directors or choreographers, both women, were so fully immersed in the creative content that they only realised that they had a real business to run when it had grown too big!

Kalwant Ajimal
Mirador Culture

Charlotte Carey said...

Hi Kalwant

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree. Of the sample of women I interviewed few considered themselves entrepreneurs or as you say to be running a business. With such regional and governmental emphasis on both the sector and increasing entrepreneurship the desire to label folks as entrepreneurs is both convenient and tempting. But I agree, I think, with the overall sentiment of what you are saying and feel that this is an area that needs clarification (with in my work at least) as I have avoided (to-date) getting to obsessed with this and have tended to use terms interchangeably.

I'll have a think and post again soon around this.