Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Cultural Policy


Taylor & Francis


School of Arts and Humanities


University of Melbourne


Vincent, C., Johanson, K., & Coate, B. (2023). Risky business: policy legacy and gender inequality in Australian opera production. International Journal of Cultural Policy. Advance online publication.


The field of cultural policy has seen a shift towards considerations of diversity, with government bodies increasingly leveraging funding to combat inequality within organisations. A barrier to this aim is a lack of quantitative data, which would provide a means to evaluate the impact of specific policies in practice. This article investigates the relationship between gender inequality at an organisational level and cultural policy at a sectoral level through a case study of Australia’s state-funded opera companies. Drawing on production data from 2005 to 2020, we consider women’s representation as conductors, directors, and designers at the state companies through the lens of Australia’s policy legacy. We find that women experience gender-based disadvantage across the key creative roles of opera production and are further negatively impacted by Australia’s existing policy landscape, which, reflecting the drivers of cultural and economic value, indirectly enables gender inequality in the field.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.