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Discrimination in the music sector survey launched

  • The ISM has launched an important ‘discrimination in the music sector’ survey and calls on ISM members and all those working in music, including music education, to complete the short survey
  • The results will shape our campaigning to ensure that all those working in any capacity in the music sector can work free from discrimination

The ISM’s important new survey on ‘discrimination in the music sector’ is open to everyone who works within the UK music sector, including education, and covers all protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010.

The survey is the follow up to the ISM’s survey in 2018 which found widespread discrimination across the music sector. This data was shared through the ISM Dignity at Work report and shaped our calls for legislative change. It also led to the creation of the Joint Code of Practice with the Musicians’ Union, which asks music organisations to sign up to a set of principles and hold themselves to those standards. Over 115 organisations have signed up to the Code so far.

This new survey aims to find whether there has there been any cultural change in the sector since the ISM’s last report, or if those working in music, including education, are still subject to inappropriate behaviours and discrimination.

The survey’s results will inform future reports and campaigning work, including formulating meaningful solutions that will affect culture. Legislative change may be part of the required solutions. The survey is entirely anonymous and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The time that respondents take to fill out the survey will support our efforts to make music a safer and better sector to work in.

ISM President Vick Bain said, ‘We need a music sector that is as open, inclusive, and safe as possible. We know through experience and research that our sector has at times fallen below the high standards that every musician and those in the workforce should expect. We are also acutely aware of the sometimes-devastating consequences to individuals that can occur as a result of experiencing discrimination.

This survey aims to find out the experiences of those who work in the sector and the findings will direct the ISM’s research, campaigning, and advocacy in this area. The ISM also provides fantastic support to its members who have been personally affected by any of these issues.

Previous research and the Dignity at Work survey resulted in the Joint Code of Practice which over 100 music organisations have signed up to. Those who take the time to participate in this survey will hopefully continue to see positive changes.

I understand that we are asking people to tell us about extremely difficult times in their lives, every response is anonymous and will be treated with respect. There is help and support out there, and more details can be found on the ISM website.

The survey will close on June 27.

Further information

The ISM President is Vick Bain and its Chief Executive is Deborah Annetts. Both Vick and Deborah were listed on the BBC Woman’s Hour Power List: Top 40 in 2018 which ‘celebrates the Top 40 most successful women having an impact on the music we’re all listening to’.

The ISM has been campaigning for legislative change to make working in the music sector safer, including changes to the Equality Act. The changes we want to see include:

  • Amending the Equality Act so that it provides real protection for all freelance musicians, including those who suffer discrimination while ‘depping’
  • Extending the time limit for bringing forward discrimination claims to six months
  • Reintroducing third party harassment rights
  • Reintroducing the use of discrimination questionnaires
  • Implementation of the Women and Equalities Committee’s report into Sexual Harassment in the workplace.