Date of Award
MA Museum Professions
Communication and the Arts
Petra Chu, Ph.D.
gender, museum, salary, pay inequity
This thesis seeks to unpack the intricate cycle of gender discrimination and pay inequity that plagues art museums, and calls for top-down solutions that will affect systemic change. The predominately female museum workforce has perpetuated salaries that often do not represent a living wage – women did not choose to enter a low-paying field, the field is low-paying because it is disproportionately female. Ultimately, the field should confront the ethical dimensions of substandard salaries, and director-staff wage gaps, by making significant changes at the board level and incorporating salary standard language into the AAM’s Code of Ethics. Beyond this moral/ethical imperative is an economic one – pay equity leads to better workforce performance, thus better quality programs/exhibitions, and ultimately brings the field closer to their holy grail of a larger, more engaged, and diversified audience.
Nie, Taryn R., ""Far Too Female": Museums as the New Pink-Collar Profession - An Introductory Analysis of Pay Inequity within American Art Museums" (2017). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2315.