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Female artists earn less than men. Coming from a diverse cultural background incurs even more of a penalty – but there is good news, too

<p>Artists all over the world, regardless of their gender, earn <a href="">considerably less</a> than professionals in occupations requiring similar levels of education and qualifications. </p> <p>But there’s an additional income penalty for artists who are female. </p> <p>In an analysis of gender differences in the incomes of professional artists in Australia that <a href="">we undertook in 2020</a>, we found the creative incomes of women were 30% less than those of men. </p> <p>This is true even after allowing for differences in such things as hours worked, education and training, time spent in childcare and so on. This income penalty on women artists was greater than the gender pay gap of 16% experienced in the overall Australian workforce at the time.</p> <p><a href="">Some sectors</a> of the arts have tried to redress this problem. However, women continue to suffer serious and unexplained gender-based discrimination in the artistic workplace.</p> <p>Cultural differences are <a href="">also known</a> to influence pay gaps in many countries. </p> <p>In new research <a href="">out today</a>, we considered whether cultural factors might also affect the gender pay gap of artists in Australia. In addition, we analysed the gender pay gap for remote Indigenous artists for the first time.</p> <h2>A larger gap for women from a non-English speaking background</h2> <p>In our <a href="">2016 survey of 826 professional artists</a> working in metropolitan, regional and rural Australia, we asked participants if they came from a non-English speaking background. </p> <p>Only a relatively small proportion of artists – 10% – came from a non-English-speaking background, compared to 18% for the Australian labour force as a whole. </p> <p>A non-English-speaking background appears to carry an income penalty only for women artists, not for men. </p> <p>We found the annual creative earnings of female artists from a non-English-speaking background are about 71% of the creative incomes of female artists whose first language is English. But there is little difference between the corresponding incomes of male artists.</p> <p>Within the group of artists from language backgrounds other than English, the annual creative earnings of female artists are about half (53%) those of their male counterparts. </p> <p>By contrast, the ratio of female to male creative earnings among English-speaking background artists is 73%. </p> <p>These results suggest that women artists from a non-English-speaking background suffer a triple earnings penalty – from being an artist (and hence as a group earning less than comparable professionals), from their gender, and from their cultural background.</p> <p>Despite this earnings disadvantage, 63% of artists who identified as having a first language other than English thought their background had a positive impact on their artistic practice. Only 16% thought it had a negative impact.</p> <p>When artists were asked whether being from a non-English speaking background was a restricting factor in their professional artistic development, 17% of women answered “yes”, compared to only 5% of men from a similar background. </p> <p>Nevertheless, like their male colleagues, these women artists continue to celebrate their cultural background in their art. They contribute to the increasingly multicultural content of the arts in Australia, holding up a mirror to trends in Australian society at large.</p> <h2>No gender gap in remote Indigenous communities</h2> <p>For First Nations artists working in remote communities, a different picture emerges. </p> <p>For this research, we used results for remote communities in three regions of northern Australia drawn from our <a href="">National Survey of Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists</a>.</p> <p>The gender gap is not replicated among remotely practising First Nations artists. </p> <p>There are some minor variations in this finding for subgroups in different regions, depending in part on differences in the mix of visual and performing artists in the population. But whatever other differentials may exist between female and male earnings, they do not appear to be attributable to the sorts of systemic gender-based discrimination that affects the residual gender gap for other Australian artists.</p> <p>A possible reason relates to fundamental differences between the cultural norms, values and inherited traditions that apply in remote and very remote First Nations communities. </p> <p>Gender roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been <a href="">described</a> by researchers as distinctively different, rather than superior or inferior. The importance of both women and men as bearers of culture has been clearly articulated. </p> <p>The unique cultural content of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, dance, visual art and literature is an essential feature of the work of these artists. These characteristics pass through to the marketplace, and there does not appear to be any obvious gender gap in the way the art from these remote communities is received. </p> <p>There is always differentiation between the art produced in different remote regions of Australia which varies depending on the complexities of different inherited cultural traditions. But there is no indication of any gender-based discrimination associated with these regional differences.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>


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How your status, where you live and your family background affect your risk of dementia

<p>By the year 2050, the <a href="">World Health Organization</a> estimates one in five people will be aged 60 years and above. In Australia, our rapidly ageing population means that without a substantial medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to <a href="">double</a> from 487,600 in 2022 to 1.1 million by 2058.</p> <p>Significant effort has gone into understanding what increases the risk of dementia. Here, we consider research into three factors – your socioeconomic status, where you live, and your background – and how they may influence dementia risk.</p> <h2>How your socioeconomic status affects your dementia risk</h2> <p>When assessing socioeconomic status, researchers typically look at a combination of your income, years of education and occupation. Socioeconomic status refers to your ability to access resources such as health, information and services. </p> <p>Socioeconomic status has been closely linked to a range of health disorders, and dementia is no exception. <a href="">Studies</a> across <a href="">multiple countries</a> have shown people with higher socioeconomic status are less likely to develop dementia.</p> <p>This is unsurprising. People with high socioeconomic status are more likely to have the financial resources to access better healthcare, better education and better nutrition. They are also more likely to live in areas with more services that enable a healthy lifestyle.</p> <h2>Where you live</h2> <p><a href="">My research team</a> and <a href="">others</a> have shown neighbourhood socioeconomic status – an index that integrates a neighbourhood’s average household income, unemployment rates, occupational skills and housing arrangements, among others, is associated with poorer memory and higher dementia risk.</p> <p>Understanding this is complex. A wide range of economic, social and environmental factors can influence the way we behave, which can influence our health. <a href="">Studies</a> suggest communities can support dementia risk reduction in three main ways. </p> <p>The first is through encouraging social participation and inclusion. This can be achieved through programs that increase digital and technological literacy, social housing (which offers greater opportunity for socialisation) and neighbourhood assistance.</p> <p>The second is through increasing proximity and access, particularly to health care, and social and cultural events.</p> <p>The third is through improving recreational and well-being facilities, including emphasising traffic safety and increasing walkability and access to urban green spaces to encourage outdoor physical activity.</p> <h2>Your background</h2> <p><a href="">Several studies</a> suggest parental education is related to an individual’s dementia risk. Specifically, low maternal education is associated with poorer memory performance, and higher dementia risk. However, these effects <a href="">are small</a>, and adult education and socioeconomic status may overcome these disadvantages. </p> <p><a href="">Current evidence</a> also suggests migrants from Africa and Asia (into Europe) have higher dementia risk compared with native Europeans. However, the prevalence of dementia in African and Asian countries is not higher than in European countries. Rather, we do see similarly elevated risk of dementia in culturally and linguistically diverse groups of people who are <a href="">non-migrants</a>. </p> <p>Part of this is due to the reduced access to high-quality education, healthcare, and health information in these groups. For migrants, there is the additional challenge of navigating health systems in their non-native language. </p> <p>Another important part to consider is the <a href="">potential bias</a> in the tools we have to assess memory and thinking abilities. These tests have been developed primarily in English, for use in European countries. Being tested in a second language may lead to poorer performance that is not a reflection of true cognitive ability, but rather a reflection of a reduced mastery of English.</p> <p>This is why it is so important we conduct more research to understand dementia and its risk factors in culturally and linguistically diverse populations, using tools that are appropriate and validated for these groups. </p> <h2>Addressing dementia needs a life-long approach</h2> <p>Undoubtedly, your pay, postcode and parents are highly interrelated. Your future income is highly related to your parents’ level of income. Your postcode can be determined by your pay. The cyclical nature of wealth – or rather, inequality – is part of the reason why addressing health disparities is so challenging.</p> <p>Studies on <a href="">social mobility</a> – the ability of individuals to move from one socioeconomic class to another – have shown that upward mobility may only partially compensate for disadvantage earlier in life. This really brings home the message that addressing dementia risk requires a lifelong approach. And that intervention is needed at an individual and a broader societal level.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>


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Why background music “significantly impairs” your creativity

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Psychologists from the University of Central Lancashire, University of Gävle in Sweden and Lancaster University have asked people to complete verbal problems that are believed to stimulate creativity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is to test whether or not background music stifles creativity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Participants were presented with three words and were asked to find a single word that when combined, make a common word or phrase. For example, if you chose the word “sun”, the combined word could be “sundress”, “sunflower” and “sundial”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Participants then performed the task while listening to music with unfamiliar lyrics, music with familiar lyrics or instrumental lyrics. The researchers also tested the effect of silence and quiet background noise from a library.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Neil McLatchie from Lancaster University explained that music stifles creativity. He told the</span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"> ABC</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that the team “found strong evidence of impaired performance when playing background music in comparison to quiet background conditions."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means that even though you’re listening to your favourite song, it’s still impairing your creativity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even music that participants liked or made them feel good still stifled their creative juices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research results suggest that music disrupts verbal working memory.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, there was no difference found between quiet background noise and silence.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">McLatchie believes that this was because of the steady state of background noise that doesn’t disrupt verbal processes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For those of you who want to listen to music whilst you’re working away, classical music that makes listeners feel happy has been found to stimulate creative thinking.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you listen to music whilst working? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>


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The simple way to remove the background from photos

<p><em><strong>Lisa Du is director of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="" target="_blank">ReadyTechGo</a></span>, a service that helps people gain the confidence and skills to embrace modern technology.</strong></em></p> <p>You've taken a great photo, and noticed that the background doesn't do the photo justice. If only there was a quick and easy way to remove backgrounds. Well, there is!</p> <p>I use eBay a lot, and all you fellow sellers will know that taking good quality images can give you better responses from buyers.</p> <p>Pictures of items usually look better and more professional when taken against a white background, but that's not always possible. However, there's a website which can help with this. Let's do this together.</p> <p><strong>Take your photo</strong></p> <p>1. Take a photo of the object using your smartphone or camera, and make sure the photo is available on your computer</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="140" height="250" src="" alt="In Text One (3)"/></p> <p>Example: I've taken a photo of a book against the wooden floorboards</p> <p>2. Using your computer, visit the website: <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></span></p> <p>3. Scroll down to "Drag and Drop Image Here" - click Choose a photo, and click on the photo that you wish to remove the background of.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="496" height="295" src="" alt="In Text Two (4)"/></p> <p>4. Watch the magic as Background Burner removes the background from your image!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="499" height="260" src="" alt="In Text Three"/></p> <p>5. Select the image that is closest to your desired end result, and click on Touch Up</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="499" height="255" src="" alt="In Text Four"/></p> <p><em>Example: I will pick image #1</em></p> <p>5. Use your mouse to outline the object to further remove the unwanted background</p> <p>6. You will have to create a free account with Background Burner, and then you can download your edited photo.</p> <p>The end result...</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="268" height="400" src="" alt="In Text Five"/></p> <p>Crisp and Professional! Try it out yourself.</p> <p>Do you think you’ll ever give Background Burner a try?</p>


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