Woman at Night Taskforce to address issues facing women at work in 'milestone' moment

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Uncomfortable reading: Survey shines light on serious issues women face at work (Getty/ Matt Dutile)
Uncomfortable reading: Survey shines light on serious issues women face at work (Getty/ Matt Dutile)

Related tags: Training, Social responsibility, Women, Night-time economy, Gender

A Women at Night Taskforce will address issues facing women in the leisure, music and entertainment industries after a report published today revealed the gendered discrimination women faced at work.

The report, published by Savenightlife CIC and Lady of the House groups included a survey that revealed three out of five women had experienced sexual discrimination, harassment or assault in the workplace.

The survey involved 1,300 women, about 40% of whom worked in the music, entertainment and leisure sectors, and the remaining being consumers in these sectors.

Furthermore, 84.7% of respondents agreed some inappropriate behaviours towards women were seen as ‘normal’ within the night-time economy, with 92.6% believing there was not enough support to help women feel safe at night.

The NTIA and Savenightlife CIC director of operations Silvana Kill said: “Our report release today represents a landmark moment for the music, entertainment and leisure sectors as we publish for the first time a piece of work looking specifically at the experiences of women in the sector, and what more can be done to make these environments safe and inclusive environments for everyone.

“We as a sector are absolutely committed to celebrating, championing and honouring women, and that is why we have taken the proactive step of trying to do our bit as we hopefully move towards a society in which no one faces discrimination of any kind.”

Milestone for women

As someone involved in the sector for 25 years, Kill said the survey results made for “very uncomfortable reading”, yet because it has been uncomfortable, she knows it is necessary to move the sector forward.

She said: “We are determined to fix the issues brought to light in this report, and that is why it is right that today we have established for the first time our Women at Night Taskforce and Charter to begin to address the problem head on.”

The report called for industry groups to sign up to a Women at Night Charter, including commitments to improve female experiences such as heightening the visibility of successful women and working with Government to ensure women felt safe.

The Charter also calls for industries to work with senior staff to address inappropriate behaviours towards women, address challenges based on preconceived attitudes due to gender and empower communities to speak out.

Laila McKenzie, founder and co-author of Lady of the House, said today marked a milestone for all women and allies of women.

At the forefront of change

She said: "Women's contributions, inclusion, safety and wellbeing are no longer an afterthought, they are a necessary part of a healthy functioning society.

“Recognising the challenges women face on an industry micro level is shining a light on old outdated systems, beliefs and conditionings that form part of our wider culture which must change in order for us to progress as a humankind."

The report discusses the issues that could lead to women feeling unsafe, including barriers to accountability, the prevalence of NDAs, poorly enacted codes of conduct, freelancing instability and strong bystander effects.

McKenzie said the industry had always been at the forefront of effecting social change from bringing together cultures and was once again, on the frontline.

“We want to do better, we want other industries, establishments and wider society to learn and grow with us so they can also do better,” she said.

She added: “We cannot do this alone, to make the changes we all want to see we must join together to celebrate, champion and honour women."

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