Swedish expert claims more women in positions of influence will lead to better arts funding

Pernilla Warberg says female bosses prefer culture to football


In the future more big businesses will be run by women, which will be good news for museums, according to Pernilla Warberg, the chief executive of Kultur and Näringsliv, the organisation that aims to marry Swedish commerce with culture.

Women bosses will increasingly channel corporate sponsorship to arts organisations rather than lavishing it on sporting events as their male counterparts often do, she said. “It is the people at the highest leadership level who decide on sponsorship and these spheres, even in Sweden, are male dominated. Men usually prefer football over arts,” said Warberg. “With more and more women taking over key positions, the arts can look forward to increased interest in sponsoring them,” she said.

Emma Stenström, a researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics, could not cite any research to support the prediction but said: “The approach sounds convincing,” adding, “it is known that women are over represented when it comes to museum attendance and therefore it could be expected they would also tend more to sponsor those institutions.” But not everybody agrees. Christina Lundgren, the head of corporate sponsorship for energy company Eon Sweden, said: “Behind each sponsorship contract is a strategy. Institutions that fit into a company’s strategy are chosen. It should not depend on the gender of key personnel whether arts or sports are preferred.” Since 2009 Eon Sweden has been the main sponsor of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Malmö. It also sponsors sporting events.

• Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper with the headline "Women on top mean more cash for the arts"