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Largest ever survey into work-life balance in performing arts launches

Photo: Brian Martin Photo: Brian Martin
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The UK’s largest ever survey into work-life balance in the performing arts is being launched to gather concrete evidence of the most significant challenges facing parents in the industry.

Led by Parents in Performing Arts and Birkbeck University, the research is aimed at on and offstage staff working in theatre, dance, music and opera.

Its creation has been driven by a need for more robust data on the experience of working parents and carers in the sector, PIPA said. The campaign group warned that there was growing evidence of parents facing “insurmountable challenges to career progression” when combined with caring responsibilities.

It is hoped the study will reveal the biggest challenges faced by parents, as well as other areas of working practice that require improvement. It also intends to identify ways to implement change.

The survey is backed by organisations including UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre, One Dance UK, Help Musicians and Sadler’s Wells.

PIPA’s 37 member organisations will also be seeking contributions from its staff and networks, and the organisation is hoping for responses from at least 3,000 participants.

Both parents and non-parents are encouraged to take part in the survey “to create the strongest case for change”.

Established in 2015, PIPA was initially focused on theatre, but this research projects marks its most significant expansion into dance, music and opera.

Almuth McDowall from Birkbeck University, said: “Life in the arts is hugely rewarding, but often precarious, and a serious juggling act for carers and parents. Our research will help to pinpoint robust data, providing the industry with impetus for change.”

Balancing Act: Work/Life Survey, is open until mid-July and be completed here.

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