Published Thursday 30 June 2011 at 16:51 by Alistair Smith i n the stage
Bullying at work is more common in the arts than in any other employment sector, according to new research.
Two in five respondents to a survey of theatres and arts centres in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland revealed they had suffered bullying in the workplace. This is the highest reported incidence in any single employment sector in the country - with a higher proportion of cases than those recorded by researchers conducting similar surveys within the police, the army and the National Health Service.
The research is published in a new book by arts consultant Anne-Marie Quigg, entitled Bullying in the Arts - Vocation, Exploitation and Abuse of Power. The findings come from a survey, undertaken in partnership with backstage union BECTU, collating information from 249 theatre workers in theatres and arts centres that collectively employed more than 22,000 people. Of the participants, 65% said bullying occurred “commonly” or “not uncommonly”, with only 6.4% saying they had never encountered bullying at work. Of the respondents, 99 - nearly 40% - said they had been a target.
Quigg told The Stage: “I was quite shocked when the survey results came back from the national work with BECTU at the level of bullying that was being reported. Because I’d been looking at it in other areas, I knew what it was in the police or the NHS - it’s around about the 30% mark. It’s around 39.7% in the arts. I was genuinely shocked at that point.”
She explained the research figures focused on people working off-stage, in so-called non-creative roles, but she feared the figure for bullying among performers and artists could be even higher and was hoping to carry out further research.
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