Actors’ Equity Finds “Steady But Small” Increase In Job Opportunity Diversity In 2021: Latest Annual Study Released
The latest installment of Actors’ Equity Association’s annual hiring and wage report – covering the year 2021 and titled “Progress During an Atypical Year” – finds that the theater industry made small but steady progress in diversity and equity in union jobs for stage managers and actors.
“We see some encouraging trends in this report,” said Al Vincent, Jr., executive director of Actors’ Equity Association, in a statement. Though he said the industry has “real potential to be a beacon of diversity and inclusion,” it still has a way to go.
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Some of the report’s key findings:
“There has been a steady, though small, increase in the job opportunities made available to BIPOC members, although this progress is unevenly distributed across the different types of Equity contracts”;
“There has been little change between the percentage of new contracts that went to men and women in the last several years, though the number of new contracts that have gone to non-binary and third gender workers has been on the rise”;
“The number of new contracts issued to actors and stage managers above the age of 44 is significantly less than for younger members. This is exacerbated for Equity members with marginalized identities, such BIPOC workers.”
The year covered in the report, as the “Atypical” title indicates, fell largely during the Covid pandemic shutdown. The report’s full title is “Progress During an Atypical Year: Hiring Bias and Wage Gaps in Theatre in 2021,” and while there were “far fewer union contracts issued overall than in 2019, the last full year of performances,” the study found “modest improvement, including an increased percentage of contracts going to stage managers and actors of color.”
The report, according to Equity, analyzes the distribution of new contracts and the average weekly salaries among six distinct and intersecting protected identity categories: race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status. This report also examines the intersection of some of these identities to see how age/race, age/gender and race/gender shift these distributions.
Equity has been tracking this data since 2013, and this is the fourth iteration of this report.
The 67-page report can be read in full here.
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