The New Year Honours list 2020

Every year there is quite a bit of controversy about the New Year’s Honours List and the whole honours system itself. This year is no exception. Many people complain that the whole system is outdated and that the wrong people receive honours and those doing valuable work in the community for years get overlooked. That may well be so, but there are also people who do receive well deserved recognition and I just want to mention a few here

As you may know the List demonstrates the services and accomplishments that these extraordinary individuals give, either voluntarily or paid, to positively enhance areas within their sector. 

As always, I was so pleased to read about the inspirational people in our industry. But this year I was absolutely thrilled to see so many women recognised. 

From the total 1097 to receive an award, 51% (556) were women and 44% of females were recognised at the highest level. This is just fantastic and wonderful to see.

For the last decade the percentage of women being recognised has floated between 45% and 50%

Apart from the current 2020 List, the only other winning year for women was 2014. There were 610 successful women candidates out of a total of 1195 in the List, which equated to 51%.

I think there is still a long way to go for more women to make their mark in the List, but we are certainly moving in the right direction. 

I was delighted to see Actor and President of Equity, Maureen Beattie, awarded an OBE for services to the entertainment industry. She is an incredible actor and what she is doing for our industry in terms of fighting for fair working terms and conditions for arts and entertainment professionals, is remarkable. 

We were lucky enough to work with Maureen when she took part in our ‘Taking the Stage - Women in Performing Arts’ event in September last year. She led the panel ‘How are women represented and paid in the industry?’ and she was so inspirational. It’s wonderful she has been recognised.

Along with other theatre and arts professionals, it was also wonderful to see individuals from our local community acknowledged for their service dedication and commitment.

From Milton Keynes, Christopher Bridgman was awarded an MBE for ‘service to the community in Wolverton and MK’. If you aren’t aware of his work, he secured funding for and set up a community fridge in the Bath House, Wolverton in 2017. He has also held a number of initiatives within the town to keep it thriving. The Bath House is very close to our hearts as we rehearse all our plays there (both community and professional). 

We feel very at home there and it’s a great relationship. Staff at the Bath House are always helpful, accommodating and welcoming. It’s brilliant you are getting recognition.

A familiar name, I’m sure, from Milton Keynes is Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain who also received an MBE for services to broadcasting and to the culinary arts. However, she has also done a great deal to further understanding of mental health. She’s been very open about her own issues concerning anxiety and has written a book “Finding My Voice” as well as making programmes about it. What an inspiration she is. 

So not only are we flying the flag for female recognition, but also for Milton Keynes!

A huge congratulations to everyone on the List. Here’s to the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June… 

I wonder how we will fare on there! For the full list of individuals recognised in the List from the Arts, please see this link from Arts Professional’s website.

For Maureen Beattie’s full quote, please see below link from Equity’s website.

Results of recognised women throughout the decade

2020 - 556 women (out of 1097) were recognised in the list, representing 51% of the total.

2019 - 544 women (out of 1148) were recognised in the list, representing 47% of the total.

2018 - 551 (out of 1123) women are recognised in the List, representing 49% of the total.

2017 - 603 (out of 1197) successful women candidates in the list, representing just over 50% of the total.

2016 - 578 (out of 1196) successful women candidates in the list, representing 48% of the total.

2015 - 579 (out of 1164) successful women candidates in the list, representing 50% of the total.

2014 - 610 (out of 1195) successful women candidates in the list, representing 51% of the total. 

2013 - 572 (out of 1223) successful women candidates in the list, representing 47% of the total.

2012 - 498 (out of 1064) successful women candidates in the List, representing 41% of the total.

2011 - 446 (out of 997) successful women candidates in the List, representing 45% of the total.

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