Our feminist manifesto

Space Invaders are intersectional feminists claiming equal space for women (including trans) and non binary folk in heritage. We welcome everyone to our cause, women, men, non-binary and genderqueer people. Trans women are women, trans men are men.

We crowd sourced our Manifesto for change between 2016 and 2020 with hundreds of women in the sector.

Why do we need change?

Uneven power distribution

  • Women make up only a quarter of the National Museum Directors’ Council.
  • Around 40% of Board members are women, but women make up less than a third 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.

Unfair conditions

  • 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 missing in collections and displays

  • 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.

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

Last updated April 2021

Want to make some change?

Explore resources to help you make change in each of the 3 areas of our manifesto

Equal power

Want to join a board and not sure where to start? Check out our links and resources.

Fair conditions

Read feminist articles and resources about building a fairer workplace for everyone.

Our stories told

Explore resources and reading around the representation of women’s stories in museums.

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