Bournemouth University (BU) in collaboration with Roehampton University and Henley Business School presents 'Women and Leadership in the Creative Industries: An interdisciplinary symposium'.

  • Pre-symposium (online): Tuesday 10th September 2024
  • In -person symposium (on campus): Thursday 12th - Friday 13th September 2024
  • Venue: Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, BH12 5BB. Directions and maps
  • Campus parking: Visitor and Events car park (free - follow the signposts as you drive in)
  • Delegate fees: £75 (£50 for Postgraduate Researchers and Independent Scholars). For delegates who prefer to present online, there is a £25 fee
  • Conference dinner: Thursday 12th September 2024. Venue and cost TBC.

  Talbot campus map

Leadership and Management in the Creative Industries has been a matter of some concern in recent years. In the UK, a succession of challenges from Covid to economic slow-down and from high-profile instances of bullying to a quiet leeching away of talent (especially diverse and experienced talent) from these industries has raised awareness of the need for leadership that is at once robust, creative and compassionate. Diversity remains a concern across the creative and cultural sectors, but most particularly in the critical area of leadership – where, notwithstanding the predominantly female profile of new entrants in many industry roles, women remain woefully under-represented in leadership positions. In July 2023, Variety reported a raft of women, and particularly women of colour, exiting leadership positions in the UK (Ravindran 2023), as well as in Hollywood (Davis 2023), while in September The Media Leader critiqued the gender ageism that, it claimed, is ‘killing women’s careers’ and thus depriving the UK industries of both leadership and innovation. (Kemp, 2023). The UK and US media are not unique in this respect, with similar concerns being raised in recent years across creative industries, and in countries as diverse as New Zealand (Molloy and Larner, 2013), Catalonia (Barrios & Villarroya, 2022) and Malaysia (Kamalul Ariffin & Ibrahim, 2022).

This symposium will address women’s leadership in the creative industries, taking into account the very broad definition of the term in an industrial ecosystem characterised by its dependence on freelance workers and micro-businesses alongside more traditional institutions. Its scope will encompass routes into leadership and associated barriers as well as concepts of creative entrepreneurial, as well as institutional leadership.

This symposium is designed to bring together from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, media industries and production studies, business and management studies, organisational psychology and sociology. It is our hope that by sharing diverse perspectives on women and leadership in the creative industries, participants will make new discoveries, form new, interdisciplinary alliances and open up this under-explored topic to a wider audience – including stakeholders in the industries themselves. 

This is an in-person event, with an online pre-symposium event offering an opportunity for virtual contributions.