Half of women in music experience discrimination in the UK, report finds

Half of women in music experience discrimination in the UK, report finds

Misogyny, sexual discrimination, and harassment continue to be prevalent issues for female musicians in the UK, according to a recent report. The report, conducted by the Musicians’ Union and Help Musicians, revealed that one-third of women in the music industry have experienced sexual harassment at work, hindering their career progression. Additionally, women are eight times more likely to face discrimination compared to men.

The findings, sourced from the first-ever UK Musicians’ Census surveying over 6,000 music industry professionals, highlighted the unequal treatment faced by women. Despite being trained to a higher level, women are paid less than their male counterparts, with an average annual income of £19,850, which is £2,000 less than men.

The report emphasized the systemic barriers that women face in the music industry, with women often experiencing shorter careers and limited opportunities for progression. Nadia Khan, the founder of Women in CTRL, stressed the importance of addressing these issues to create a more equitable landscape for women in music.

The report’s findings align with a prior report by MPs on the Women and Equalities Committee, which described the music industry as a “boys’ club” plagued by sexual harassment and abuse. The committee called for legislative action to combat the pervasive issue.

Female respondents to the Musicians’ Census shared their firsthand accounts of gender discrimination, with 51% stating they had experienced discrimination at work. Stories of sexual assault on stage and during late-night travel were also shared, underscoring the challenges faced by female musicians in the industry.

Furthermore, the report highlighted unique barriers to women’s career progression, including childcare responsibilities and age discrimination. Women in roles such as studio engineers, rappers, and DJs remain underrepresented, while women dominate roles in classical music.

Naomi Pohl, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, emphasized the need for greater transparency and action within the music industry to address these longstanding disparities.


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