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A freshly released report has sounded the alarm on the persistent gender inequality plaguing the music industry. Female musicians continue to grapple with disproportionately high levels of discrimination, harassment, and formidable career barriers, according to the findings


A groundbreaking report, jointly published by Help Musicians and the Musicians' Union, has unveiled a stark reality: women encounter greater hurdles in the music industry, battling discrimination, harassment, and career obstacles.


Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment: A Shocking Reality for Women in Music


According to the survey, a staggering 51% of women in music have confronted gender-based discrimination, with a third enduring the trauma of sexual harassment. The Musicians Census' fifth edition, canvassing 2,526 female musicians, underscores that “gender inequity remains a pressing, concerning issue” in the music realm.


Unveiling the Challenges: Gender Bias, Harassment, and Career Barriers in the Music Industry


The report lays bare a multitude of challenges disproportionately faced by women, spanning gender bias, sexual misconduct, pay disparities, and hindered career advancement. Shockingly, women are eight times more likely to encounter discrimination than their male counterparts, with a third reporting incidents of sexual harassment during their musical endeavors.


The Wage Gap and Familial Hurdles: Obstacles Hindering Women's Music Careers


Despite often holding music degrees, women still earn nearly ten percent less than men on average. Moreover, familial responsibilities and inadequate earnings obstruct the career paths of 29% and 27% of women, respectively.


Genre Disparities: Unequal Opportunities in Music Career Paths


Further analysis reveals a disturbing trend: certain genres, like classical and music theatre, offer more accessible career avenues for women, while UK Rap and dance music exhibit glaring pay discrepancies.


Behind the Scenes: The Stark Gender Disparity in Music Production and Engineering


The report paints a disheartening picture of gender representation in critical behind-the-scenes roles, indicating that women comprise only 29% of DJs, 24% of producers, and shockingly low percentages in live sound and studio engineering.


Pioneering Insights: The Inaugural Musicians Census Reveals Industry Challenges


In 2023, Help Musicians and the Musicians' Union embarked on the inaugural Musicians Census, pioneering insights into industry challenges. This year's report receives support from Women in CTRL founder Nadia Khan, underscoring the ongoing imperative for gender parity in music.


Advocating for Change: Nadia Khan on the Imperative of Gender Parity in Music


Reflecting on the census revelations, Nadia Khan remarks, “The latest Census report underscores the extensive work required to ensure equity for all musicians.”


Photo by Bongani Ngcobo