Report Into The Australian Music Industry Confirms How Horrifically Common Sexual Harassment Is
Over 70 percent of women experienced sexual harassment at some point in their career.
A new report into sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the Australian music industry has painted a grim picture of the state of the industry.
The 78-page independent report featured a survey of 1271 participants from all across the industry including musicians and senior record label executives, 76 percent of which experienced some sort of bullying throughout their career. The statistic was higher for women — a common theme throughout the report — with 81 percent reporting bullying, compared to 67 percent of men. Bullying was also reported by 86 percent of non-binary people.
Additionally, the report found that 55 percent of all participants experienced some form of sexual harassment and/or sexual harm in their careers. This figure includes 72 percent of women, while 39 percent of men had experienced sexual harassment. The rate of sexual harassment among participants who identified outside of the male/female genders sits at 85 percent.
Sexual harassment was most common at music venues (45 percent), followed closely by the office (21 percent) and work-related events (17 percent). Participants noted that 74 percent of perpetrators were men, while 25 percent were women. But despite the findings showing that sexual harassment is horrifically common in the music industry, only 3 percent of people who experienced sexual harassment lodged a formal report.
Of those who lodged a report — either formal or informal — as a result of their sexual harassment, 71 percent alleged that their career progression was negatively impacted by speaking up.
The review reported that 82 percent of survey participants made the choice not to report the sexual harassment they faced, likely due to fears of how speaking up could impact their careers and lives in the future.
Managing Director of MusicNSW Emily Collins, who was a member of the group overseeing the report, applauded the courage of those who spoke out as part of the report.
“We want to acknowledge the courage of those victim-survivors and everyone who shared their stories as part of this review. Bringing this information to light is a critical first step in understanding not only the extent of harm that has occurred but also setting out a clear path for the music industry to improve and strengthen its workplace culture for everyone,” said Collins in the report.
But while the findings give us a good look at the state of the industry, more work is yet to be done to actually implement this knowledge and make the industry a safer place for everyone.
“Leaders in the music industry have a collective responsibility to use their influence to drive widespread change and create a safe and inclusive workplace built on respect,” Managing Director of Australian Festivals Association Julia Robinson said in the report.
Alexandra Shehadie from MAPN Consulting, who led the review, commended the industry for commissioning the report in the first place, but hoped that changes will be appropriately implemented.
“The task now is to follow through with implementing the recommendations right across the industry. Australia has a vibrant, dynamic and creative music industry. It is important to ensure that it is also inclusive, respectful and safe so that all who work in it are free from harm and discrimination, and can thrive,” Shehadie said.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual violence, harassment or bullying, you can contact any of the following helplines for free and confidential support.
Support Act Helpline: 1800 959 500
1800RESPECT: 1800 737 7323
Lifeline Hotline: 13 11 14 or text their helpline on 0477 13 11 14
SANE: 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636