Courtauld Talk

How to achieve gender parity in arts leadership?

The art world is not gender balanced. 70% of art museum curators are women, yet museumleadership retains a boy’s club reputation. None of the top three most visited art museums (The Louvre, The British Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art) have had a female director, and only four of the directors of the top twenty-five museums are women. Because museums frame the world for us, sometimes literally, museum leadership determines whose art and what kinds of culture count.


Fatoş Üstek – Independent Curator and Writer

Fatoş Ustek is an independent curator and writer, based in London. She is curator of miart Talks 2018, Milano; Art Night 2017, also Art Fund curator at fig-2. Formerly, Ustek acted as Associate Curator for the 10th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. She is a trustee of Art Night, founding member of Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), on the advisory board of Block Universe Performance Art Festival, member of AICA UK and ICI Alumni. She is on the global jury board for Rise Art 2018, chief Juror for Celeste Prize 2017, and acted as jury for sculpture section at Arte Laguna Prize 2017, among others. She is a regular contributor to international art magazines and numerous exhibition catalogues.

Sue Owen – Permanent Under Secretary, DCMS

Sue Owen was appointed Permanent Secretary for Department for Culture, Media and Sport in September 2013. In July 2014 Sue became the Civil Service LGB&T (straight ally) Champion, and overall Diversity and Inclusion Champion in July 2015. She Chairs the Charity for Civil Servants.

Caroline Campbell – Head of the Curatorial Department, The National Gallery

Caroline Campbell is the Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department at the National Gallery. Born in Belfast, Caroline studied history at University College, Oxford, followed by Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She’sheld curatorial positions at the Ashmolean, the National Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery, and has been in her current role since December 2015.

Ian Blatchford – Director of Science Museum Group

Ian Blatchford was appointed Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group in November 2010 and combined this with the role of Director of the Science Museum from December 2010. The national museum group oversees the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum, Locomotion, the National Science and Media Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Alexandra Hess (Partner, Cinven)

Alexandra Hess began working in private equity in 1999. She joined Cinven in 2004 and is a Partner of the firm. She is currently the Head of Fundraising and Investor Relations. She has been a member of the firm’s Portfolio Review Committee and is currently a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

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