Up‑and‑coming engineers and producers deserve protection from exploitation, discrimination and sexual harassment.
In this issue we celebrate the success of women at the top of their audio game. At the same time, I’m conscious that many would‑be colleagues have found the barriers just too big to overcome, and many are still struggling to get their invoice paid or simply trying to get through a recording session without their client invading their personal space or worse.
Celebrating success does not mean that the barriers to women’s representation have melted away. Indeed, the fact that it was even possible to get most of us onto one magazine cover shows that there is still work to be done. In particular, employment laws in the UK and the US leave much to be desired — and on both sides of the pond, there are those who would block or roll back progress.
In 2021, Democrat Senator John Manchin cast the deciding vote against a paid family leave portion of a US domestic policy package that would have given six weeks’ paid maternity leave to all new mothers in the US, where there is currently no entitlement to paid leave. And while things are better on that front in the UK, self‑employed families — a category that includes most engineers and producers — are at a disadvantage compared to their employed peers, with no paid leave for fathers or adopters.
Another area of concern is harassment in the workplace. Again, we have parliamentarians trying to slow progress. In the UK, the Worker Protection Bill, which would increase protections against sexual harassment by third parties (something the Musicians Union have been calling for for years) looks in danger of...