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Executive Director’s Letter October 22, 2019

Last week, GBCA launched changes to increase the equity practices embedded in its widely used arts jobs board, JobsPlus. The site is a regional resource for cultural job seekers and hiring organizations that receives 100,000 unique visits annually. GBCA supports transparent hiring practices and so, the recent changes now require the inclusion of a salary range and information about benefits.

This measure, developed by GBCA’s Equity and Inclusion Director, Kibibi Ajanku, is designed to help organizations to understand the barriers they unknowingly may be creating in the hiring process and to push them to be more accessible and inclusive. Why? Studies on wage compensation show that women and minority candidates who advocate for themselves and their compensation at any stage in a job application process are viewed as aggressive. Their white male counterparts are not. At GBCA we believe that cultural organizations have a responsibility to champion diversity, equity, access, and inclusion not just in their programming and educational offerings but in their staffing choices as well. To do this, organizations must put in place mechanisms that break the paradigm these studies describe. Additionally, when salary and benefits packages are listed, it allows applicants to decide whether or not they want/can afford to work for that wage. This creates a stronger pool of applicants for the organization and reduces wasted time for all parties.

Another important measure is not asking for salary histories on applications or the interview process. By asking for such history you can end up disadvantaging candidates who are already historically underpaid. Oh, and one more thing, be sure to pay your interns! Much of nonprofit and arts work has been accomplished on the backs of free labor. In addition to this being unfair, it significantly advantages people who have independent means of support over those who rely on paying jobs to put food on the table.

Is your organization doing all it can to support equitable hiring practices? Check out this overview from the American Alliance of Museums and links to other resources. And always keep JobsPlus in mind when looking for a position, or seeking top candidates.

Enjoy the rain,


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