Periodically, Arts Professional undertakes Pulse research to gather important data about the arts and culture sector.
This latest Pulse research – ArtsPay 2022 – comes at an important moment. Unlike the previous survey run in 2018, these results are published at a time of rising inflation and during significant ongoing pandemic-related challenges. Both are affecting the spending power of individuals and organisations alike.
Two pictures emerge from this research.
The first comes from the hard numbers relating to pay. These show salaries largely keeping pace with national averages, and progress on gender pay gaps and pay differentials. Where there are departures from these headlines, we have highlighted them. But overall, the numbers tell a story that, even if not overwhelmingly positive, isn’t particularly negative.
The second picture emerges from the personal stories respondents shared, away from the checkboxes and drop-down menus, reaching into areas of compensation beyond headline pay. They are stories of struggle, inequities, challenges in career progression, insecurity and precarity, poor terms and conditions, insidiously eroded hope and more than a little despair. They reveal a strong sense of injustice and provide context for understanding the talent drain which has undoubtedly affected the arts and culture sector post-pandemic.