Gender inequality still prominent says Musicians Union report

2023 Women Musicians Insight Report finds that gender inequality is still a prominent, alarming issue in the music industry.

Musicians Union
  The report has been published by the Musicians' Union.

The Musician's Union (MU) has published the findings of its 2023 Women Musicians Insight Report, which they state shows that they "experience greater frequency of career barriers than the wider population of musicians generally".

Over 5,800 musicians completed the census which came through a 15 on-line survey, with the aim to provide a, "fuller picture of the musician population in the UK today and to track how key themes change". There were over 2,500 female identifying respondents.

Still prominent

It led the MU to state that the report found that "gender inequality is still a prominent, alarming issue in the music industry, with female musicians facing much higher levels of discrimination, harassment and career barriers."

Speaking about the findings of the report MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl commented: "The Census findings, set out in this report, illustrate the many discriminatory practices and behaviours still holding women back in their musical careers.

"We have long advocated for better pay gap reporting, and hope the Census findings will encourage the industry to take action, be more transparent and make change.

Deeper insight

They added: "We welcome the deeper insight into barriers to reporting instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination which we will highlight in our campaigning work.

Our Women's Network for members discusses many of the issues raised in the Census, and we look forward to sharing the detailed findings with them."

Brass Bands England recent held at webinar where many elements surrounding the barriers were discussed. The webinar is due to be published on the BBE website in the near future.

Read the Report


Report findings

The report found that:

51% of women in music have been discriminated against due to their gender (6% for males)

33% of women in music have reported been sexually harassed whilst working and 25% have witnessed sexual harassment of others.

Female musicians are paid less and have shorter careers — despite on average being more trained and educated (£19,850 to £21,750 compared to men)

27% of female musicians said they didn't earn enough money to support themselves and their family, compared to 20% of male musicians.

Women's visibility in music also decreases dramatically with age. 47% of musicians aged 16-55 are women, but after the age of 54 it dropped to 26%.

30% of women reporting aged discrimination against 21% of men.

It was also found that women were significantly under represented as engineers and producers.

Whilst 79% of women were performing musicians only 24% were producers 15% were live sound engineers and 12% studio/mastering engineers.

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