From the Field

Gender Gap Report

March 7, 2014

Though women have made great strides towards equality in society, a gender gap still exists. This gap in society is also present in our art museum directorships.


The AAMD and the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) undertook a study, The Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships, to understand the gender gap this field and explore potential factors to help its member institutions advance towards greater equality. Through a combination of quantitative analysis and interviews, we examine the current and historical factors of the gender gap in art museum directorships; introduce potential resources and considerations from other industries; and suggest some areas for further research.


Following are some preliminary findings about the gender gap in AAMD's membership:

  • Across all AAMD member museums, women hold less than 50% of directorships. Comparatively, 48% of CEOs at non-profits with budgets above $1 m are women and 5% of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies are led by women.
  • The average female director’s salary lags behind that of the average male director. Female art museum directors earn 79¢ for every dollar earned by male art museum directors.
  • The overall disparities in the number of female art museum directors and in their salaries are mostly driven by the largest museums. These museums have operating budgets of more than $15 million and represent roughly the top quarter of AAMD member museums by operating budget. At these largest museums, female directors earn 71 cents on average for every dollar earned by male directors.
  • For the other three quarters of member museums with budgets of less than $15 million, female directors on average earn $1.02 for every dollar that male directors earn.


For more information and data, download the full report:

The Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships