Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been putting together a list of women either born or living in Scotland who could have been asked (but most of them weren’t) to be judges at the Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony. There are currently over seven dozen names on the list: the list includes women who are not white, who are not able-bodied, who are not cisgendered, who are not straight.
None of this diversity is apparent to me in the Daily Record/Creative Scotland panel.
Between them, Creative Scotland and the Daily Record asked at least half a dozen women – Creative Scotland claims over a dozen were asked. None of the dozen women could manage it, and CS just gave up and decided to have an all-male panel: two men from the Daily Record, a man from Creative Scotland, a man from the BBC, a man from the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and two writers: Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli.
I’m sure both Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli were fine judges. (Kohli could not be present for the judging, and cast his vote remotely.) This is not to decry the quality of the judges selected, but to point up that this failure to have even a gesture towards gender balance does not in any way reflect either the diversity of Scotland or the Scottish arts community, and certainly does not reflect well on Creative Scotland’s aspiration to put equality at the heart of its activity.