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New Research Shows Extent of Gender Inequity in the Music Industry – Lyric Say

The primary UK Musicians’ Census has discovered that there are nonetheless disparities for ladies when its involves protected workplaces and monetary fairness 


Delivered by Assist Musicians and the Musicians’ Union (MU), the primary UK Musicians’ Census 2023 is a long-term undertaking that may run each three to 5 years to measure adjustments within the music sector over time, reply to musicians’ wants, and to enhance the way forward for the trade.

The newest Women Musicians Insight Report, is the fifth in a series of Insight Reports which every share findings on key Census themes, akin to LGBTQ+ musicians and psychological effectively being. 

All musicians aged 16 and over “who earn or intend to earn money” from music have been invited to answer the survey. Walnut Limitless, a market analysis company, was appointed to develop the survey, handle the information assortment, and run the preliminary evaluation of the information. 

In complete, the Census gathered 5,867 musicians’ responses from throughout the UK — of this determine, the March 2024 Women Musicians Insight Report exhibits information associated to 2,526 musicians (43%) who recognized as ladies.

Greater than two thirds (69%) of all ladies respondents have been throughout the 25 to 54 age teams. There’s a larger illustration of youthful ladies — with 47% of these aged 16 to 55 — nevertheless, ladies’s illustration drops considerably after the age of 54. 

Girls report age discrimination (30%) at considerably larger charges than males (21%); extra ladies declare main caring duties than musicians of all different genders, and usually tend to report caring duties as a profession barrier in music. 

Conversely, ladies musicians have larger ranges of each basic and music training — with 14% extra ladies having a music diploma and 15% having a postgraduate music qualification. 


Musician demographics chart (supply: Women Musicians Insight Report)


The Census additionally revealed that 88% of ladies report their profession had been restricted in at the very least a method. Whereas that is prevalent in different gender teams, the numerous disparities for ladies included the price of coaching and problem with discovering childcare.

Additional, 17% of musicians reported being in debt, rising to 30% amongst these with a psychological well being situation, and to twenty-eight% for Black/​Black British musicians.

Experiencing or witnessing discrimination was reported by 87% of ladies musicians, in comparison with 65% of males. These challenges are heightened for ladies musicians from the Global Majority and for disabled ladies.

Moreover, 51% of ladies reported experiencing gender discrimination, in comparison with 6% of males. Sexual harassment disproportionately impacts ladies in music, with 32% of ladies reporting being sexually harassed whereas working as a musician, in comparison with 5% of males. 

In all, 11% of ladies state they’ve reported sexual harassment they’ve skilled or witnessed in music; in different sectors, 62% of those that report work-related abuse or harassment as a profession barrier, are ladies.

Girls’s certainty about their future in music was much like musicians total, with ladies simply barely much less seemingly than others to say they’d nonetheless be working as a musician after each one 12 months (91% vs 93%) and 5 years (83% vs 84%).

Concerning wage, ladies expertise a small total gender pay hole with a median annual earnings from music of £19,850 in comparison with £21,750 for males; the hole is widest after ladies earn £34,001 per 12 months. 

Of all respondents, 152 musicians (3%) reported incomes £70,000 or extra from music annually — 79% of those are males, and 19% are ladies. 

Of the 79% of ladies who’re performing musicians (in comparison with 80% total), 11% of ladies reported being a producer, 3% reported being a DJ, and a pair of% of ladies reported being studio/mastering engineers and stay sound engineers.

Girls respondents to the Census have been extra prone to work in classical and musical theater than some other style. The most important gender hole is in UK rap — 8% of ladies report being on this style, in comparison with 16% of musicians of all different genders.


The info throughout all Census reports have been collected through a 15-minute on-line voluntary survey held between January and March 2023. 

“The Musicians’ Census 2023 not only offers unique insight into the make-up of the musicians’ community across the UK but also paints a picture of the distinctive set of challenges musicians face to sustain a career in music,” stated Assist Musicians’ chief government, Sarah Woods on their website

To succeed in extra musicians, the undertaking partnered with 20 representatives from throughout the music trade. This stakeholder group helped form and share the survey to their respective communities, and supply suggestions on the outcomes — serving to make the Census as inclusive as potential. 

Taking part organizations included the Arts Council England, Affiliation for Digital Music, Affiliation of British Orchestras, Angle is The whole lot, Black Lives in Music, Drake Music Org, Drake Music Scotland, English People Dance and Tune Society, and Featured Artists Coalition.

Extra companions included the Ivors Academy, Music Managers Discussion board, PiPA, PPL, PRS Basis, Punch Information, Royal Society of Musicians of Nice Britain, Protected In Sound in NI, She Mentioned So, The F Record, The Unbiased Society of Musicians, and UK Music. 

Responses from these communities additional revealed that girls’s illustration was larger amongst these of the World Majority than amongst white respondents — 54% of Asian respondents have been ladies, as have been 49% of Black respondents. Girls comprised 43% of respondents from white ethnicities.


Musicians demographic - respondents from the Global Majority

Musician demographics — respondents from the World Majority


Total, ladies’s longevity in music matches that of musicians of all different genders. Nevertheless, there are 30% of musicians of all different genders with over 30 years of expertise, in comparison with simply 20% of ladies. 

This statistic displays the age profile within the Census pattern, the place ladies are typically youthful and as such haven’t labored in music for as lengthy. 

In response to the survey, a number of limitations are inflicting ladies to depart the music trade, and extra analysis is required on this to alleviate them. 

Additional, 47% of ladies from the World Majority reported experiencing racism, and 38% reported witnessing others experiencing racism, in comparison with 21% of white ladies. 


type of discrimination


To conclude, the report means that sector-wide efforts are wanted to “move the dial for women in music.”

These embody eradicating structural limitations to careers as musicians for ladies; stopping and performing on discrimination; enhancing fairness amongst totally different teams of ladies in music; and facilitating ladies’s work as musicians in all music genres and roles — making certain that no music is off limits as a result of gender. 

The Assist Musicians charity has shaped new genre-based applications for ladies and gender expansive musicians to champion and put money into ladies’s artistic and profession growth. 

In gentle of the Census information on office and sexual harassment, the charity has redesigned its Bullying and Harassment service for musicians to make sure enough recognition for sexual harassment, and to make the office safer. 

The Assist Musicians’ sister charity, Music Minds Matter can also be working to create protected areas for ladies to develop peer help and entry psychological well being provision. 

Moreover, to create gender fairness and higher office measures, Musicians’ Union (MU) are persevering with to foyer on points together with childcare, maternity pay, carers, and gender pay gaps.

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