New research shows the extent of gender inequality in the music industry

The first ever UK Musicians Census has revealed that there is still a gap for women when it comes to secure jobs and financial equality.

Sent from Help Musicians AND Musicians Union (MU), United Kingdom first 2023 Musician Registration is a long-term project that will take place every three to five years to measure changes in the music sector over time, respond to the needs of musicians and improve the future of the industry.

The last Women Musicians Insight Reportis fifth in a Insight Reports series which each share findings on key Census topics, such as LGBTQ+ musicians and mental well-being.

All musicians aged 16 and over “who earn or intend to earn money” from music were invited to respond to the survey. Unlimited nutsa market research agency, was appointed to develop the survey, manage the data collection and perform the initial data analysis.

In total, the Census collected 5,867 responses from musicians across the UK – as of March 2024 Women Musicians Insight Report shows data for 2,526 musicians (43%) who identified as women.

More than two-thirds (69%) of all women surveyed were in the 25 to 54 age group. There is a higher representation of young women – with 47% of those aged 16 to 55 – however, female representation falls sharply after the age of 54.

Women report age discrimination (30%) at a significantly higher rate than men (21%); More women claim primary caregiving responsibilities than musicians of all other genders and are more likely to report caregiving responsibilities as a career barrier in music.

Conversely, female musicians have higher levels of general and music education – with 14% more women having a music degree and 15% with a postgraduate music qualification.

Demographics of musicians

Musician demographic chart (source: Women Musicians Insight Report)

The census also found that 88% of women report that their careers were limited in at least one way. While this is prevalent in other gender groups, significant disparities for women included the cost of training and difficulty in finding childcare.

Further, 17% of musicians reported being in debt, rising to 30% among those with a mental health condition and 28% for black/black British musicians.

Experiencing or witnessing discrimination was reported by 87% of female musicians, compared to 65% of males. These challenges have increased for women musicians from Global majority and for women with disabilities.

Additionally, 51% of women reported experiencing gender discrimination, compared to 6% of men. Sexual harassment disproportionately affects women in music, with 32% of women reporting being sexually harassed while working as musicians, compared to 5% of men.

In total, 11% of women state that they have reported sexual harassment that they have experienced or witnessed in music; in other sectors, 62% of those reporting work-related abuse or harassment as a career barrier are women.

Women’s certainty about their future in music was similar to musicians in general, with women slightly less likely than others to say they would still be working as musicians after one year (91% vs. 93%) and five years (83% vs. 84. %).

In terms of pay, women experience a small overall gender pay gap with average annual music earnings of £19,850 compared to £21,750 for men; the gap is wider as women earn £34,001 a year.

Of all those surveyed, 152 musicians (3%) reported earning £70,000 or more from music each year – 79% of these are men and 19% are women.

Of the 79% of women who are performing musicians (compared to 80% overall), 11% of women reported being producers, 3% reported being DJs, and 2% of women reported being studio/mastering and live sound engineers .

Women surveyed in the Census were more likely to work in classical and musical theater than any other genre. The biggest gender gap is in UK rap – 8% of women report being in the genre, compared to 16% of musicians of all other genders.

Data throughout all Census reports were collected via a voluntary 15-minute online survey conducted between January and March 2023.

“The Musicians Register 2023 not only provides a unique insight into the make-up of the musician community across the UK, but also provides a snapshot of the unique set of challenges musicians face in sustaining a career in music,” said the Help Musicians boss. executive, Sarah Woods on their website.

To reach more musicians, the project teamed up with 20 representatives from across the music industry. This group of stakeholders helped shape and share the survey with their respective communities, and provided feedback on the results – helping to make the survey as inclusive as possible.

Participating organizations included Arts Council England, Electronic Music Association, Association of British Orchestras, Attitude is Everything, Black Lives in Music, Drake Music Org, Drake Music Scotland, English Folk Dance and Song Society, and Featured Artists Coalition.

More partners included Ivors Academy, Music Managers Forum, PiPA, PPL, PRS Foundation, Punch Records, Royal Society of Musicians of Britain, Safe In Sound in NI, She Said So, The F List, The Independent Society of Musicians , and UK Music.

Responses from these communities further revealed that the representation of women was higher among those of the global majority than among white respondents – 54% of Asian respondents were women, as were 49% of black respondents. Women made up 43% of white respondents.

Demographic Musicians - polled by the global majority

Musician demographics – polled by the global majority

In general, the life expectancy of women in music matches that of musicians of all other genders. However, there are 30% of musicians of all other genders with over 30 years of experience, compared to only 20% of women.

This statistic reflects the age profile of the Census sample, where women tend to be younger and as such have not worked in music for a long time.

According to the survey, multiple barriers are keeping women out of the music industry and more research is needed to alleviate them.

Further, 47% of global majority women reported experiencing racism and 38% reported experiencing other racism, compared to 21% of white women.

type of discrimination

To conclude, the report suggests that sector-wide efforts are needed to “move the numbers of women in music”.

These include removing structural barriers to careers as musicians for women; prevention and action against discrimination; improving equality between different groups of women in music; and facilitating the work of women musicians in all musical genres and roles — ensuring that no music is off limits because of gender.

The charity Help Musicians has formed new genre-based programs for women and gender-broadcast musicians to protect and invest in the creative development and careers of women.

In light of Census data on the workplace and sexual harassment, the charity has redesigned its Harassment and Harassment service for musicians to ensure sexual harassment is properly recognized and to make the workplace safer.

Sister charity Help Musicians, Musical minds matter is also working to create safe spaces for women to develop peer support and access mental health provision.

Furthermore, to create gender equality and better measures in the workplace, the Musicians’ Union (MU) is continuing to lobby on issues including childcare, maternity pay, carers and gender pay gaps.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *