Music Victoria Announces Gender Diversity Policy

As part of its commitment to gender diversity within the music industry, Music Victoria will ensure the participation of at least 40% of women across its activities.

Last April, the state’s peak music association conducted a survey Women In The Victorian Contemporary Music Industry with 300 respondents. It identified key themes as barriers in the music industry were pay inequality, access to opportunities, the 'confidence gap', the general undervaluing of music, and sexual harassment. Go to www.musicvictoria.com.au for a copy of the report.
One of the actions that Music Victoria took from the report was to increase the representation of women in its committee of management, various sub-committees, industry advisory groups that it manages, the judging panels of The Age Music Victoria Awards, and as artists and panellists at its events and professional development sessions. It already has a 50% gender split on its board.
Cassandra Pace, Deputy Chair of Music Victoria, "Music Victoria is committed to promoting gender diversity and the target is an important step toward achieving this. Music Victoria encourages others in the industry to adopt a gender diversity policy for their organisations." 
Music Victoria also acknowledges, “Gender is a diverse spectrum and when referring to women and men it includes those who identify as female and male, and those who are gender non-conforming.” It will report on its gender diversity in its annual report in order to track progress against the target.
It has set up the Women's Music Industry Advisory Panel to consider issues of women in Victoria's contemporary music industry and community.
It features Sarah Blaby (PBS, Music Victoria board), Patrick Donovan (Music Victoria), Megg Evans (venue booker for Bennett's Lane Jazz Club), Diane Forster (Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society, Women in Blues), Catherine Haridy  (artist manager, Chair of the Association of Artist Managers),
Janelle Johnstone (booker, musician), Caroline Kennedy (musician, academic at Melbourne Polytechnic), Matthew Kennedy (Tennis Victoria, Music Victoria board), Mel Krause (The Push), Moira McKenzie (GI & Sanicki Lawyers), Michelle Nicol (digital marketing strategist, Music Victoria board), Cassandra Pace (Music Victoria board), Kirsty Rivers (manager of contemporary music at Creative Victoria), Megan Sheehy (musician, curator), Anthea Jewels Sidiropoulos (musician), Catherine Strong (musician, academic at RMIT), Sarah Thompson (fundraising consultant at T Group Services), Chloe Turner (LISTEN, Music Victoria), Jen Tutty (studio legal), Kate Welsman (RRR) and Chelsea Wilson (jazz musician, PBS).
Music Victoria has a representative on the Sexual Harassment and Assault in Licensed Venues Policy Taskforce established by Minister for Justice and Brunswick MP, Jane Garrett.
In addition, Music Victoria’s updated version of The Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues, released in March, now includes a chapter for venues on how to deal with sexual harassment. These include monitoring crowds, ensuring that venue operators do not direct staff to flirt with patrons or dress suggestively, promote a pro-diversity culture in the venue and promote gender imbalance in the employment of staff, security team and performers.
In terms of actions after an incident, the guidelines suggest it should be done immediately after it is reported, throw the perpetrator out, do not doubt the complainant or not take the complaint seriously, report it to the police and do not destroy video footage and other evidence that could bring the assailant to the justice process.

For more industry news visit Christie Eliezer's Industrial Strength column.