Study Reveals One-in-Five Music Industry Workers Have Experienced Sexual Harassment, Abuse
Like many other industries, there's still a lot of gender inequality within the music industry. Believe and TuneCore have teamed up for the third year in a row to present their Be the Change: Gender Equality Study, which has revealed that an alarming percentage of people who work in the music industry experience sexual harassment or abuse at work.
The study surveyed over 1,500 people who work in the music industry from 109 different countries. Of the participants, 49 percent were men, 45 percent were women, 3 percent identified as non-binary and 3 percent made up "other gender expansive individuals." As for the age groups represented, 20 percent were Gen Z, 49 percent were Millennial, 23 percent were Gen X and 8 percent were Boomers and older. The scope of their roles in the music industry was wide — ranging from creators to artists managers, social media creators and many more.
Key findings from the study note that one-in-five music industry workers have reported experiencing sexual harassment or abuse while at work. Out of 1500 participants, that's 300 people. Furthermore, 34 percent of women in the music industry experienced some form of sexual abuse or harassment at work, but these percentages are even higher for nonbinary individuals (43 percent) and transgender individuals (42 percent).
Sexual abuse and harassment aren't the only situations people in the music industry face as a result of gender discrimination, though. The study also showed that 53 percent of participants agree that men are paid more than women, nonbinary individuals and other gender expansive individuals. An increase in mental health struggles since working in the music industry were also reported more in women (76 percent), nonbinary (89 percent) and transgender individuals (82 percent) as well.
Halestorm's Lzzy Hale was one of several people who shared their experience as a woman in the music industry for the Be the Change study. Read her full statement below, and check out the full study to see more findings here.
I didn't get into the music business to be a spokesperson for women, or to fight for my right to be here. I got into this business because I wanted to create and perform music.
As a young teen starting out I was not warned, prepared or aware of the sexism, and inequality I would have to face simply because of my gender. Looking back I am thankful for my naivety in the beginning of my journey. But that blissful ignorance soon faded and turned to defiance. Like a thousand tiny razor cuts, it eventually became a part of my life. Something I just had to 'deal with' every step of the way. I was left no choice but to take those scars and turn them into fuel for my fire to succeed. But I shouldn't have had to do that. I should've had the same thing all my male peers had. Freedom.
It's inspiring to see work that's being done like the 'Be the Change' study, especially seeing a finding like 66 percent of the music industry wants to see more women and gender expansive individuals in positions of power within the industry.
For women and minorities, it is important that we talk about our battles in order to light a torch for the ones that follow us down this path. It is imperative that they know that the inequality we face is not normal, it is not 'just the way it is' and should not be tolerated. It's going to take all of us to stand firm against this inequity so that the next great female artists no longer have to carry this egregiously unnecessary burden.