It sure has been a wild ride of late with the noise of #METOO emerging from the music industry. For those who have never seen, experienced or inflicted any sexist suffering on women in the industry it might seem like a whole lot of fuss about a few bad apples.

The problem is a culture of women who have negative experience in the workplaces but for complex reasons can’t be easily spoken of (if you are up for a deep dive follow this link [INSERT link to new page or REFERENCE block???] ). Subconscious biases and sexism that go unnoticed notice are part of most women’s experience in the audio industry. The noise comes from those who feel safe enough to discuss their experiences. Some think that it’s a case of harden up or exit the room. This comes from a place of ignorance of the widely understood research that demonstrates that a diverse workplace benefits everyone. The fear of men losing their jobs to women is based on a post-war culture of insecure traumatised return soldiers being told by society that they needed to man up and get over their suffering and that they should send their women back to the kitchen so they felt like they weren’t needed.

So if female newcomers still need a search light to find the female role models on the other side of the glass ceiling, there is still a bit of work to do in weeding out unhealthy behaviours and making space for diversity.

Why does diversity matter?

According to the Victorian Government, it benefits the economy and protects women and children from violence.  To me, as a female audio engineer since my early 20’s, it has been an ongoing quest to find role models and a community of like-minded and gendered species.  It has only been in recent years that I have understood the impact of navigating an industry as a minority (whilst also being a representative of a large sector of the Australian population i.e. white-female), and the reasons for gender imbalance, and the ongoing pattern of a scarcity of females and general lack of diversity.

The issues faced by women undoubtedly often apply to other minorities in the music and audio industry such as: other than white; other than heterosexual; other than coloniser/European decent; and other than CIS male.

Jaguar Jonze- Music’s Me Too Moment Arrives As Young Artist Fights Back Against Bullying And Sexual Harassment

“These people that sit at the top [of the music industry] and are the orchestrators of culture, they have the resources to protect themselves; financially, socially, legally. While the victims don’t have that…they can make one call and destroy your entire career…they can make one call and make your career. That’s the irony.”

– Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze interviewed by Lisa Wilkinson on the Project, Channel 10, 2020)