Exploring gender equality in the arts

Four women holding leadership positions in esteemed Australian arts organisations – including State Library Victoria, The Australian Ballet and Bendigo Art Gallery – will meet in Bendigo next week to discuss gender equality and leadership.

The panel will explore how we can achieve a truly equitable arts sector, the impact and relevance of the #MeToo movement, and how society can amplify the voices of all women: women of colour, indigenous women, queer and trans women and women of all abilities.

Hosted by La Trobe University, the ‘Women in Leadership’ event will be held at The Capital in View Street, at 6.30pm on Friday 12 October.

Tickets are $25, with all proceeds going towards La Trobe’s Women in Leadership bursary, giving regional students financial support towards their leadership goals.

Director, Experience at State Library Victoria, Justine Hyde, said issues of gender inequality are as relevant today as they ever have been. “Women's voices have been silenced all through the history of western civilization,” said Ms Hyde.

As part of her keynote address, Ms Hyde will draw on the work of Mary Beard, a British classics academic, to explore how this is evident over the past 3000 years through western literature.

“Starting with Homer's Odyssey, I'll trace the evidence of this silencing of women's voices right through to the Twitter conversations of today,” said Ms Hyde.

Ms Hyde will also question where the #MeToo movement has left us as a society, and whether it is really the pivotal moment it appears to be.

“#MeToo was a significant movement, and started conversations that weren’t previously being had – but has it changed anything in real terms?” said Ms Hyde.

Ms Hyde will join La Trobe University Professor of Finance, Amalia Di Iorio; Director of Marketing, Commercial and Audience Development at The Australian Ballet, Penny Rowland; Director at Australian Print Workshop, Anne Virgo OAM; and Curatorial Manager at Bendigo Art Gallery, Tansy Curtin at the event.

Last year’s Women in Leadership event raised more than $6000, which funded bursaries for three high-achieving Bendigo women, to help them fulfil their leadership potential.

Tickets to this year’s event can be purchased at www.latrobe.edu.au/womenlead-ben.