Labels should publish data on gender diversity of rosters, recommends new government report

today02/02/2024 3

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A new report from the Women And Equalities Committee (WEC) calls for “urgent action” against a misogynistic “endemic” within the music industry.

The WEC – which includes a cross-party committee of MPs – has held an inquiry into the sector, where it has discovered that sexual harassment and abuse are rife.

Naming the music industry a “boys’ club,” the report urges the sector and the government to provide more education on the issues of misogyny, sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

The report, titled Misogyny In Music, found that many women do not speak out about their situations as they believe it could end their career as a consequence.

The report claims that women are forced to sit alongside “sexual abusers who remain protected by the system” at music industry events.

It also found that “female artists are routinely undervalued and undermined, endure a focus on their physical appearance in a way that men are not subjected to, and have to work far harder to get the recognition their ability merits”.

Inside the report is “a series of strong and wide-ranging recommendations” which calls upon ministers to amend the Equality Act.

One of these recommendations proposes that freelance workers have the same protections from discrimination as employees, with the WEC urging the UK government to protect workers from sexual harassment by third parties — this proposal was initially supported by the government, but rejected last year.

Emphasis is also placed on more funding on career pathways for women, such as to work in male-dominated areas such as A&R, sound engineering and production.

On top of this, the report recommends that record labels publicise statistics on the diversity of their rosters — as well as at organisations with more than 100 employees.

The publication would include data on the diversity of their workforce, as well as gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

Another recommendation is for music studios, music venues, artist managers and security staff to undergo licensing requirements focused on tackling sexual harassment.

The report’s conclusion states: “Women in the music industry have had their lives ruined and their careers destroyed by men who have never faced the consequences for their actions.”

“The music industry has always prided itself on being a vehicle for social change; when it comes to discrimination, and the harassment and sexual abuse of women, it has a lot of work to do.”

Read the full ‘Misogyny In Music’ report by The Women And Equalities Committee here.

AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry.

Health Assured provide the service to ensure confidential expert counselling and a safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support. Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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