Institutional framework and cultural policies in creative sectors: a rhetorical tool or real facilitation of gendered leadership in Scotland’s creative environments?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The paper addresses the problematic nature of leadership in creative work in the context of existing policies and institutional frameworks with regard to diversity and equality schemes. Specificity of the cultural sector and conditions such as perceptions of creative freedom, cultures of sporadic success, and blurring of worker/employee and other identities, present particular ‘mindset’ challenges as to how new mechanisms for equality in employment, fairness in working practice relations and enhanced leadership might emerge. A question is what the implications for leadership in creative environments are, where the sector is increasingly required to take account of the equality and diversity agenda, with particular reference to alternative forms of leadership opportunity and experience. We acknowledge multiple forms of discrimination in relation to gendered-biased practices in creative work and following Bruni and Gherardi (2002), recognise the significant role of language in ‘en-gendering a difference’ effectively. This paper builds on such research and presents evidence from a discourse analysis of cultural policies and comments in Scotland, and where appropriate, the UK more generally. The paper’s contribution is envisaged to be one that delivers further insight into the importance of language to the construction of leadership roles and in the facilitation and the obstruction of what is understood as gendered leadership in creative sectors, with particular reference to the equality discourse in the context of Scotland’s socio-political aspirations and its highly nuanced relationship with issues of gender and equality. We argue that a problematic of a dual presence, which is, manifested both in the language at the policy levels as well as via historically constructed assumptions and meanings associated with identity related categories such as leadership and perpetuated via media, creates significant barriers for women’s’ way of doing leadership, their socio-economic success as well as underutilisation of their skills and forms of expression more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngendering Leadership Through Research and Practice Conference Proceedings, Perth, 21 – 24 July 2008
EditorsJacquie Hutchinson
Place of PublicationCrawley, Western Australia
PublisherUniversity of Western Australia
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781740521796
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2008
EventEngendering Leadership Through Research and Practice Conference - University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Duration: 21 Jul 200824 Jul 2008


ConferenceEngendering Leadership Through Research and Practice Conference


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