Music industry Code of Conduct launches

ISM Code of Conduct

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and the Musicians Union (MU) have today launched a Code of Practice to help eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination in the music sector.

The organisations, who jointly represent the interests of professional musicians in the UK, say the move is a huge step towards their shared vision of promoting and maintaining a positive working culture.

This comes after a recent ISM study into discriminatory behaviour in the music industry revealed that alarmingly high levels of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination had been experienced by workers.

As part of the Dignity at Work study, ISM asked participants for suggestions on how to tackle the issue, to which 86 percent of respondents called for a sector wide code of conduct on workplace behaviour to be introduced.

UK Theatre and the British Film Institute have recently introduced similar measures within the film and theatre industries, launching their own codes of practice to help protect workers.

Both the ISM and MU are calling for the entire music industry to support the initiative and adopt the set of principles outlined within the code.

Naomi Pohl, assistant general secretary of the MU said: ‘It is clear to us that the culture of the music and entertainment sectors, as well as drama and music education, need to change radically.  To put it bluntly, too many workplaces simply aren’t safe for female musicians, in particular, at the present time.’

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of ISM said: ‘The ISM’s report revealed a culture of discriminatory behaviour, including sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination relating to all protected characteristics across the entire music sector. The respondents did not report their experiences due to fear of being victimised and ‘blacklisted’, this indicates a toxic culture which needs to change.’

Read the full code of conduct here.