Shenice Ellis and Halima Malek: Gloucester women join arts industry leadership scheme

We’re delighted to welcome Shenice and Halima as Associates in the Women Leaders South West scheme

There need to be more women in leadership positions in the arts

There is a gender imbalance in favour of men throughout the arts industry – especially when it comes to leadership roles.

Source: The Guardian, ‘UK report reveals ‘disgraceful’ gender inequality in the arts’

Gloucester is full of brilliant people with huge creative potential

We love seeing more and more of Gloucester’s residents realising what they can do, what they can bring about in the city, through the arts.

So we’re delighted to welcome two women from Gloucester – Shenice Ellis and Halima Malek – as our new Associates as part of the Women Leaders South West (WLSW) leadership development scheme.

WLSW is a training and career development programme that aims to do something about the gender imbalance in arts leadership, by supporting women in the South West to explore it as a viable career option.

Future women leaders, made in Gloucester

Under the scheme, Shenice and Halima will:

  • work on their own creative projects
  • shadow the Strike A Light leadership team
  • see the inner workings of an arts organisation
  • join a residential of intensive learning in April 2021
  • and develop their own skills as future arts leaders

all whilst receiving support through mentoring, the wider network of WLSW Associates – and, of course, being paid for their time.

The hope is this will, over the next 18 months, help them progress their own careers and further their potential as leaders. And, ultimately, that WLSW can be another step towards a world where there is sufficient support for women in leadership that the arts becomes a more equal, diverse and representative industry.

Part of a bigger picture, too

The WLSW scheme is happening with eight fantastic arts organisations in South West England – each supporting two new Associates of their own. So there are 16 women in total, from Dorset to Hampshire, participating in the programme.

Read the full announcement, including all 16 associates across the South West.

Our new Associates

Shenice is a dance teacher from Gloucester who has run Ambitions Dance & Drama group based in Gloucester and Stroud for the past 14 years. She loves to travel and is always up for new adventures. This has led her to give opportunities to the young people she works with, including touring trips to France, Hungary and America, as well as teaching in an American summer camp.

Halima Malek is a Gloucester-based artist and makeup artist whose parents originated from India. Her work has been showcased by the Wilson Gallery and she was one of several women invited to read for International Women’s Day at St Mary de Crypt. She works closely with different communities in Gloucester, including the Indian and Muslim communities, to bring positive change to people’s lives.