SCOTLAND’S creative industries and media leadership positions are dominated by white men - the findings of a new report have confirmed.

Across a variety of industries from arts, culture, news, festivals and digital industries, women and people of colour are still continually underrepresented, a report by the Equal Media & Culture Centre for Scotland has found.

Below, we’ll take you through the figures for each sector, setting out the full scale of imbalance and lack of diversity in Scotland’s cultural industries.

READ MORE: White men still dominate Scotland's top media and culture roles


White men’s prevalence in the Scottish media was described as “bleak” in the report by Engender, with three-quarters of positions on the 10 boards governing newspapers held by men, while only one-quarter are filled by women.

Only two of the 10 boards have a female chief executive and all of the chief executives are white. Three news boards are made up entirely of white men, while only 8% of board members are men or women of colour.

Women are also significantly underrepresented as sports editors, political editors and editors in chief.


White men govern 59% of all Scottish sports bodies, while 37% are led by women, 3% by men of colour, and 1% by women of colour.

There are three female chief executives out of 13 major sporting bodies, and of 138 board and council positions, women make up 38% of those roles.

While the Scottish Sports Association and Scottish Disability Sport achieved gender balance on their boards, others had twice as many men as women, and only 5 (3.6%) of positions were filled by people of colour.

A third of chief executive and chair positions on a further 55 sports governing bodies were filled by women and all but one (a man of colour) are led by white people.

READ MORE: 'Glass ceiling' for women and minorities in Scotland revealed in new Engender report

Digital culture, national cultural bodies and museums and galleries

Gaming and animation companies were dominated by 93% of men in CEO or managing director positions, 10% of whom were men of colour, and the rest were white women.

CEO’s of 39 digital marketing, advertising and PR firms in Scotland were all white, with 71% men and 29% women.

Cultural bodies fared better, with 44% of director or CEO roles, across 48 organisations encompassing theatre, music, museums and others, held by women.

The National Library of Scotland is led by a woman of colour while the Scottish Poetry Library is led by a man of colour.

The report welcomed the finding that 258 out of 513 positions on 48 boards of cultural bodies had 50% representation for women, and six creative arts boards had more than 70% women.

However, nearly half (44%) feature no people of colour, and 71% have no women of colour represented on their boards.

Boards either had a man or woman of colour represented, but not both, except on five occasions. Chamber Music Scotland is “alone” in having no white men on its board.

Out of 417 museums and galleries, the gender balance was evenly split, with 51% run by women and 49% by men. There are two women of colour leaders but no men of colour.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour accounts 'prove they aren't a party'

Festivals and music

Only four of Scotland’s 12 major national festivals are led by women. There are 145 board positions, 49% are held by white men, but 9% by women of colour. Five boards had no people of colour at all.

Out of 35 arts festivals, white men made up 50% of directors, white women 41%, women of colour 6% and non-binary 3%. The report found that women are more likely to lead in smaller festivals rather than national ones.

For Scottish trad and folk festivals, 67% are led by white men, while less than a third are run by women, with one woman of colour and one trans person leading an event.

In music, women make up 40% of executive directors on 15 bodies, in roles that “tend towards inclusion and education”, the report found. Those with a “more prominent international status”, Scottish Opera, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Royal Conservatoire, are run by men. Seven of the 15 boards had less than 50% women, while six had no people of colour.

All 12 musical directors or principal directors of Scottish national orchestras, bands, and choirs are white men.

Films, arts and publishing

Scotland has nine film and screen bodies, of which seven (78%) have female executive directors, and only two are male, but all are white. Out of 12 major production companies, eight are led by white men (75%), while only one person of colour is represented as a creative director at STV Creative.

Head of production at these companies represented a 50-50 split of men and women, but again all white, and only Raise the Roof Productions had a woman at the helm of both director and production positions.

In 24 publishing companies and bodies, just over half (52%) of CEO’s and directors are white men, compared to 44% white women and 4% men of colour.