Space Invaders manifesto for change

Introducing our manifesto

Space Invaders is a campaign for change for women in museums and heritage. We’re claiming equal space for women.

We welcome everyone to our cause, women, men, non-binary and genderqueer people. Trans women are women, trans men are men.

Why do we need change?

  • Women make up only a third of the National Museum Directors’ Council.
  • Around 40% of Board members are women, but women make up only 25% of Chairs of major museums.
  • There’s a perception that women in leadership roles take on a traditional or masculine style of leadership.
  • Conditions for women at work are not fair.
  • Mandatory reporting on the gender pay gap shows women in Museums and other heritage sites are still paid less on average than men.
  • The sector is at least perceived as feminised and follows the broader trend for feminised roles to be low pay.
  • Women report their career progression is limited by caring responsibilities and a lack of flexible work.
  • Women’s stories are not equally told.
  • Women artists are under-represented in public collections, exhibitions and displays. Works by women are less than 1% of some collections.
  • Approximately 3% of (non-mythical or royal) statues across the UK are of women.
  • In 2019, only 18% of biographies on Wikipedia were of women.

Our demands

1. Equal power

We want to see leadership in museums and heritage reflect the wider population, with women – and a diversity of women – holding their share of influence

  • Boards and Chairs comprise 51% women (to reflect the UK population)
  • Women hold the top role in half of our institutions
  • Different, more inclusive, leadership styles are valued, including more participatory decision-making

2. Fair conditions

We want to see workplaces and conditions designed to meet the needs of women.

  • Equal pay and no gender pay gap
  • Flexibility, with caring responsibilities supported for all staff and all dependents
  • Safe spaces free of sexism

3. Our stories told

We want to see women represented equally in collections, narratives and displays

  • Women’s history and perspectives included in all museums and historic sites
  • Art and design by women equally represented in acquisitions and displays
  • Wider gender equality issues highlighted through interpretation, exhibitions and events

What we’ll do

  • Continue to bring women together to learn from each other and explore strategies for change.
  • Work with women in the sector and beyond to further develop and deliver our action plan to achieve the Manifesto demands.

This Manifesto was created through discussions with women from across the sector held at Space Invaders events since March 2016.

We welcome everyone to our cause, women, men, non binary and genderqueer people. Trans women are women, trans men are men.

What do you think? Tell us: spaceinvaderscampaign@gmail.com

Last updated July 2020