ALD Diversity Seminar

Last week, Sky Bembury, our National Business Development Manager for North America, was invited by the ALD to attend the PLASA Focus Leeds Seminar.

The PLASA Technician Survey in 2014 found that 93% of its members were male, with most considering lighting to be their specialism. A quick survey of the ALD membership suggests roughly the same gender split amongst its professional members. Although female representation in lighting has been increasing in recent years, ethnic diversity remains a problem. Anecdotal reports suggest very few BME candidates apply to training courses or entry-level theatre jobs, and technical theatre is all too often a white, middle-class preserve. 

The lecture was about what might be the underlying reasons for this, and what can be done to encourage more diversity in design and technical theatre – particularly in terms of gender, race and socioeconomic background.

Sky Bembury commented: “The topic of diversity in the lighting industries is an extremely important one. Statistics from organizations like the ALD are baffling, however, not surprising in the least. Lighting (Entertainment & Architectural) is a fantastic career option and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it, however, one can’t help but ask why many others from my background aren’t getting involved? I was happy to see the ALD seek to address this issue with the seminar and I was honoured to be asked to participate in the conversation. Although the symposium touched on many possible causes and solutions to this ethnic and gender division, the conversation is far from concluded. I look forward to continuing this dialogue in the future.”

About ALD

The Association of Lighting Designers is the professional body representing all those who work or are interested in the creation of lighting, video & projection design for live performance and events.