A new study conducted by Midia Research, Tunecore, and Tunecore’s parent company Believe has concluded that sexual harassment is the most prominent problem women experience in the music industry.
401 female music makers from around the world were surveyed, with almost two thirds citing sexual harassment or objectification as a major challenge they face.
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81% of respondents also said they feel it is harder to gain recognition for their work compared to male peers in the industry. 90% said they experience unconscious bias from the male-dominated music industry, with nearly half saying they experience it regularly.
The survey states: “Sexualization and objectification are a consequence (or symptom) of unbalanced power dynamics, as shown by the next ‘big three challenges’: ageism (identified by 38%), lack of access to male-dominated industry resources (36%) and lower pay (27%).”
The study follows on from research published by University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative earlier this month, that found there has not been any significant improvement in representation for women in the music industry across the past nine years.
It stated: “Women were 21.6% of all artists on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Charts across the past nine years and represented only 20.2% of artists on the chart in 2020. The 2020 percentage reflects the reality that there has been no meaningful and sustained increase in the percentage of women artists in nearly a decade. Few women appeared on the chart in duos (7.1%) or bands (7.3%) and were most likely to perform as solo artists (30%).”
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Professor Stacy L. Smith, who conducted the report, said upon the publishing on March 8: “It is International Women’s Day everywhere, except for women in music, where women’s voices remain muted. While women of color comprised almost half of all women artists in the nine years examined, there is more work needed to reach inclusion in this business.”
AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry
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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
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter