Museum workers around the world are posting their salaries on a public spreadsheet to show the industry's glaring pay gap

arts and museums salary google spreadsheet

Transparency (and a Google spreadsheet) might change the art
world.

Since May 31, employees in museums and art galleries around the
world have been submitting their salaries anonymously to a Google
Spreadsheet entitled
Arts + All Museums Salary Transparency 2019
, according to a
report by
Hyperallergic
. And less than one week later, it already has
over 1,800 entries (as of this writing). 

The spreadsheet also lists the museums or galleries where
employees work, their country of employment, their role, job
benefits, education, gender, and race, among other categories. It
comes at a time when salary surveys in the arts are finally being
taken after
years of relative secrecy
.

The document was reportedly created by assistant curator at the
Philadelphia Museum of Art Michelle Millar Fisher, whose team was
inspired by the City University of New York (CUNY) Adjunct Project, which aims
to provide fair pay for PhD students teaching in the CUNY system.
Both projects have one thing in common: the desire to promote
salary transparency.

“I’ve been an adjunct, a nanny, a cook — and lots of other
things to support myself,” Fisher told Hyperallergic. “All of us in
the arts have had to take other jobs, and that will likely always
be the case.”

While positions like curatorial assistant hover around $40,000 a
year, the highest position in a museum, such as museum president or
director, can run anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000, according to
the spreadsheet. And seasonal employees are becoming increasingly
common, according to an anonymous coworker of Fisher’s. 

While this data can’t be confirmed due to the anonymous nature
of its sources, the release of the spreadsheet comes at a time when
several industries are having open conversations about wage
disparity. For example, a recent
Axios
 analysis found the median pay of a healthcare CEO in
2018 was $7.7 million, and chief executives of 177 healthcare
companies made a cumulative $2.6 billion.

And a 2019 Wall
Street Journal analysis
 found the median salary for 132 CEOs
in the S&P 500 was $12.4 million in 2018, up from $11.7 million
in 2017. 

SEE ALSO: A
Disney heiress told Congress that Bob Iger’s huge salary is a
‘moral issue.’ Here’s how CEO earnings at companies like Netflix
and Discovery compare to worker pay.


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Museum workers around the world are posting their salaries on a public spreadsheet to show the industry's glaring pay gap