Pay data from the U.K. showed a large wage gap between women and men working at top auction houses.
All British businesses, charities, and public entities with more than 250 employees were required to submit pay information to the government ahead of a deadline for the information Wednesday. Over 10,000 companies complied, and the data revealed stark gender pay discrepancies at some art world institutions, primarily those in the auction sector. Bonhams reported a 36.7% pay gap, while “Christie’s pays women 25% less than male colleagues and the difference at Sotheby’s stands at 22.2%,” The Art Newspaper reported. The gap was calculated based on median hourly earnings and includes the pay of part-time workers, the majority of whom are women. In the auction houses, as in most private-sector firms, men outnumber women in senior leadership roles. The median pay gap among all firms who reported data stood at 9.7%. Most galleries, arts nonprofits, and smaller auction houses did not have to report data because they have fewer than 250 employees. Museums and public institutions fared far better, with women at the Tate and the British Museum earning slightly more than their male colleagues. But men saw a higher paycheck than women at some influential museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, and at the Arts Council of England, an arts funding body.