A Third of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment While Working In Music, Report Finds

A new report, which arose from research by the Musicians’ Union and the charitable organization Help Musicians, shines a light on the plight of women working in the music industry in 2024.

Over 2,500 female musicians were surveyed in the “Women Musicians Insight Report,” which suggests that work-related abuse and financial disparities significantly impede the career advancement of women in the music industry. The study found that half of women have experienced gender discrimination and a third have been sexually harassed.

Another finding in the study correlated women’s age and visibility in the music scene. While 47% of musicians ages 16-55 were women, they comprised only 26% of those over the age of 55. Age discrimination was found to occur much more commonly in female musicians versus males.

“The findings of the latest Census report show there’s still so much work to be done to make sure that working as a musician is equitable for all,” said Sarah Woods, the Chief Executive of Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter. “We hope these insights will encourage the industry to continue collaborating to reduce gender-based barriers and ensure gender equity in every part of music.”

“It’s alarming to witness the persistence of gender disparities highlighted by the UK Musicians’ Census, where discrimination, harassment and unequal pay remain prevalent issues faced by women musicians, demanding urgent action,” added Nadia Khan, founder of the nonprofit Women In CTRL. “This pivotal moment presents a unique opportunity for change ahead of the next musicians’ census. It’s vital that the industry makes genuine commitments and takes decisive actions to prevent the recurrence of the same data.”

You can read the full “Women Musicians Insight Report” here.

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