The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
abuse of female crew on tours?
Old 6th October 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 

abuse of female crew on tours?

thx whitecat for posting this article!

'You're left to rot if you speak up': the abuse faced by female roadies | Music | The

having been into touring for close to 40 years myself and hence fully aware of the fact that our community does not include but the most well-mannered individuals, i'm wondering whether some female artist/tech/roadie/tour or stage manager etc. here on gearslutz may want to share her experience, good or bad.

[i'm less interested in racist abuse (which i've seen happening) but in gender issues and/or social and cultural aspects of conflicts surrounding our business]
Old 18th October 2020
  #2
Gear Head
 

I would be shocked honestly. I have worked at rough and tumble union places, and everyone always was nice to the ladies and glad to have them there. Roadie ladies are strong, and generally a bad idea to pick on.
Old 18th October 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Moan zone
Old 18th October 2020 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
I would be shocked honestly. I have worked at rough and tumble union places, and everyone always was nice to the ladies and glad to have them there. Roadie ladies are strong, and generally a bad idea to pick on.
i agree that the guys are mostly glad to have the girls around - but there still aren't that many females in our entire business; if there are any, they are often not in a leading positions, they don't stay in the business very long, the climat isn't always very nice (if not sexist yet the dudes don't even recognize!) and not all the ladies are 'strong' (or have to be btw)...
Old 18th October 2020 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Fay Smearing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatever View Post
Moan zone
No, because it's not complaining, it's asking for anyone's real world experience about it.

It would be good if the occasional topic like this wouldn't turn into a political sh*t-flinging feud between perpetually-opposed whatever-ists.

It would be interesting to see if there are any apparent differences between countries, states/regions or even different genres.
Old 18th October 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
i have been selling pro audio stuff for 45+ years and the gender imbalance is noticable. we are fortunate enough to have women owned manufacturers...notably Apogee and Manley but see few women in the control room or with sound companies.
I cant imagine the longshoreman language on the road to be attractive but im sure there are a few that can keep up.
A solution ? lets try all
Old 20th October 2020
  #7
We had a young lady working with our sound crew on various occasions and she was ALWAYS treated with the upmost respect. I guess our crew was different and no one used foul language. The most "foul' word I heard was "darn" when someone stubbed their toe on a shipping case. This young lady usually did monitors or FOH engineering and was very good at both jobs. I think treating everyone the same goes a long long way in good tour management. FWIW
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Work experience experience

I can remember in high school for work experience I put down I wanted to try a recording studio. Some guy in my class ended up in the recording studio and I got lumped in an admin role. Did a bachelor degree in production. Couldn’t get a job so went to teaching instead. I do often wonder if things would have turned out different if I was a boy?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by min3008 View Post
I can remember in high school for work experience I put down I wanted to try a recording studio. Some guy in my class ended up in the recording studio and I got lumped in an admin role. Did a bachelor degree in production. Couldn’t get a job so went to teaching instead. I do often wonder if things would have turned out different if I was a boy?
thx for chiming in! unfortunately, more or less hidden disadvantages for women are commonplace and often don't even get recognized as such from the point of view of men, no matter how 'woke' they think they are...

was it a structural discrimination or a lack of awareness? did things change in recent years and if so, to the better or worse? in the position you are now, do you get to discuss your experience?



p.s. out of the ca. 100 techs i get to deal with regularly, exactly 4 (four) are women! 2 working in the light department, 1 in audio, 1 in an acoustic design company - shocking/disappointing!

(one area in which things changed a lot is classical music - not in terms of technicians but that there are many more female musicians in the orchestras these days, at least when comparing to 30-40 years ago!)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 1 week ago at 02:17 PM.. Reason: p.s.added
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

reply

Hi. Just checking if this reply works.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

The gender disparity

I believe we are socially conditioned from the day we are born with gender associations and they come to light and are discussed when we recognise the impact they have on our lives, or we may even discuss incidentally just as observations.

Take for example gender association with musical instruments. Boys learn the drums and girls learn the flute! Of course I realise this is a generalisation and it doesn't always work out this way, but these instrument gender associations are active and real.

Consider my school choir. It has one boy and forty something girls. When I do a talent quest, the girls audition in dance and singing, very rarely the boys.

Gender associations are everywhere within music, through people practising them, repeating them, insisting on them, being oblivious to them, exploiting opportunity through them, being conventional through them etc. One could argue there are some valid reasons at times. Drum bits can be pretty heavy. Boys are stronger and lift easier than girls.

I believe there is a strong gender disparity in music production, tech and live sound. Some of these reasons are perhaps due to our tendency to visualise certain scenarios. For example, when we visualise a person fixing a guitar lead with a soldering iron, I would argue most would conceptualise a male taking on this task rather than a female.

With my particular experiences, I would suggest that being female didn't help me to secure music tech roles, however there were also other factors at play. For example, I did my music production degree right at the time the industry was transitioning from analogue to digital technology. Recording studios shut down everywhere as affordable computers and digital tech rendered them unnecessary. Bands and artists were starting to produce their own music at home and didn't need to hire studios for their recordings.

The Internet was also simultaneously finding its wings at the time, which of course entirely changed things. I didn't really understand how what was happening at the time was imparting an influence over my career choices, but looking back now... the picture is much clearer.

I would argue that gender associations and gender disparity has contributed positively toward my current situation in the long run. As a music teacher, I believe I probably earn more money now than if I was in music tech. I get great holidays, my life works perfectly around family, I have job security during COVID 19 and I don't have to deal with drug and alcohol issues sometimes associated with people in the industry.

A side note....male teachers are scarce in elementary schools everywhere in my country. There are gender imbalances almost everywhere. I don't talk about it much or fly the flag for it, however I also believe we shouldn't be ignorant about it either with our heads in the sand. We should acknowledge it, then educate our young so they have a chance to break down or at least work more successfully through social constructs.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mins3008 View Post
I believe we are socially conditioned from the day we are born with gender associations and they come to light and are discussed when we recognise the impact they have on our lives, or we may even discuss incidentally just as observations.

Take for example gender association with musical instruments. Boys learn the drums and girls learn the flute! Of course I realise this is a generalisation and it doesn't always work out this way, but these instrument gender associations are active and real.

Consider my school choir. It has one boy and forty something girls. When I do a talent quest, the girls audition in dance and singing, very rarely the boys.

Gender associations are everywhere within music, through people practising them, repeating them, insisting on them, being oblivious to them, exploiting opportunity through them, being conventional through them etc. One could argue there are some valid reasons at times. Drum bits can be pretty heavy. Boys are stronger and lift easier than girls.

I believe there is a strong gender disparity in music production, tech and live sound. Some of these reasons are perhaps due to our tendency to visualise certain scenarios. For example, when we visualise a person fixing a guitar lead with a soldering iron, I would argue most would conceptualise a male taking on this task rather than a female.

With my particular experiences, I would suggest that being female didn't help me to secure music tech roles, however there were also other factors at play. For example, I did my music production degree right at the time the industry was transitioning from analogue to digital technology. Recording studios shut down everywhere as affordable computers and digital tech rendered them unnecessary. Bands and artists were starting to produce their own music at home and didn't need to hire studios for their recordings.

The Internet was also simultaneously finding its wings at the time, which of course entirely changed things. I didn't really understand how what was happening at the time was imparting an influence over my career choices, but looking back now... the picture is much clearer.

I would argue that gender associations and gender disparity has contributed positively toward my current situation in the long run. As a music teacher, I believe I probably earn more money now than if I was in music tech. I get great holidays, my life works perfectly around family, I have job security during COVID 19 and I don't have to deal with drug and alcohol issues sometimes associated with people in the industry.

A side note....male teachers are scarce in elementary schools everywhere in my country. There are gender imbalances almost everywhere. I don't talk about it much or fly the flag for it, however I also believe we shouldn't be ignorant about it either with our heads in the sand. We should acknowledge it, then educate our young so they have a chance to break down or at least work more successfully through social constructs.
your comment is much appreciated!

makes me wonder how much of bias blind spot i have myself in terms of gender discrimination...?!

would you think it would have helped you to get a studio job if you would have had (support from) a mentor? and did you have any role models? besides gender quota, what do you think would help a younger generation of females to get a job in our business?
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
soggy mittens's Avatar
 

I'm a part of a few social groups on social media that are for female sound engineers and there are occasional posts about it but I think it is getting better over the decades, there are obviously way more groups started by women that support each other and get shiit done. It will only get better and stronger as far as I can see. Personally I live in a country/city where opportunities are few and far between so that is my biggest hurdle. Anything I do is typically voluntary or results in very little. Tho I've been requested for live sound jobs then I show up and told by men (friends of the organizer that was trying to be inclusive) that they've got it covered. Also jerked around on jobs but I can't really say that was strictly sexism, just jerkism. But it is like anything, some people are awesome and some people are not as awesome. You do what you can and you try to network with the better people. Also being extremely introverted doesn't help but that is a personal thing that isn't really relevant to the topic. xD
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soggy mittens View Post
(...) being extremely introverted doesn't help but that is a personal thing that isn't really relevant to the topic. xD
are you sure? couldn't it be that a somewhat more extroverted appearance (or even an 'agressive' behaviour) is something which more typically gets associated with men?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post

would you think it would have helped you to get a studio job if you would have had (support from) a mentor? and did you have any role models? besides gender quota, what do you think would help a younger generation of females to get a job in our business?
I had no female mentors or role models. All my university lecturers were male. They were the ones who recognised my talent and potential.

I believe I am the last person to offer advice about breaking into the music tech industry as I wasn't successful in doing so. However, since you asked, I would suggest the following....

I would first recommend women consider location. Some places offer minimal opportunities whilst other regions of the world are more alive in the Arts. I realise this is a problem during 2020 as one cannot just fly off to wherever they please, but post COVID 19, consider locations in the world where more opportunities exist.

Having some basic skill sets will help. Tenacity and not fearing rejection will help.

Volunteering for free may be a winning ticket but be careful. You want to give your free time so you can make connections and learn, not get used and abused!

If you can acquire some capital from somewhere, you could attempt to start up your own business.

Remember Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It it's not working for you, change what you are doing or how you are thinking.

Finally, perhaps consider other career options and just keep music production/tech as a hobby. Sometimes when we do what we love for a living, it becomes a little staid and isn't as exciting anymore as we're doing it all the time.

On a side note, consider that BA degrees and certificate courses in fun and creative areas like computer gaming, digital animation, music production etc. are offered by entities that are really just businesses at the end of the day. They promote exciting courses to make money, and you may end up with just a piece of paper and a promise unfulfilled. Swarms of individuals flock to do these courses for a dreamy opportunity to have a career doing something they love. I wager these sort of jobs are scarce, often pay little, are not of a permanent or reliable nature with excessive hours.

I previously worked with a teacher who had a degree in digital animation. Some of the people he studied with travelled south to take on jobs at the Disney studios in Sydney, but were back within a year because it just didn't pay enough.

I will quote my late mother. 'Think with your head, not just with your heart'.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I've only worked in the corporate live world and all the female techs I worked with were great and seemed to be as respected as everyone else. Rarely ever got to work with them but it was a nice change of vibe to have them on a show. It made me wanna move to a company with a more diverse work force. If the company I was previously at hired a female tech they'd be looking at some sort of HR issue or lawsuit so fast because my boss was an absolute pig. We did work at the local college and he would just oggle the students and make comments about them. He's pretty much the reason I left that place aside from insultingly low pay. Any time I had a bad experience with someone it was always a guy. Screw Markey's (don't care about name and shame, no interest in returning to the industry after covid passes). That place was a great example of the old guard getting in the way of good work.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 

I have no experience to contribute to this thread. But just wanted to say that this kind of discussion is refreshing to see on this forum, which unfortunately can be a bit close-minded at times.

A friend in Hollywood tells me that Foley work for movies is one niche corner of the audio industry that is predominantly female.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
drsaamah's Avatar
If we need any proof that there is an imbalance in representation, take note that this thread currently consists 2 women sharing their experiences and 4 men speaking on behalf of women they worked with
But seriously, great topic, I'm here for the ride.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Head
 
PsyKology's Avatar
OK, not sound, but back in the late 90s and 00s, I had a female laser operator working for me. She was very good with pre show programming and live operation. I was more than happy to leave her to "get on with it", knowing she knew what to do and would make a good job of it.

Many a guy stood there dribbling into their beer watching her work. We didnt treat her any different to the guys, although we didnt expect her to pick up a flight case of moving lights to load into the truck (mainly because the was only 5' 1"), she could drink beer and JD as good as the blokes and swear just as well if needed.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsaamah View Post
If we need any proof that there is an imbalance in representation, take note that this thread currently consists 2 women sharing their experiences and 4 men speaking on behalf of women they worked with
But seriously, great topic, I'm here for the ride.

People are posting their personal experiences about issues related to the topic, not sure what else you want.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
drsaamah's Avatar
Getting defensive is only a testament to your own self-criticism. I didn't attack anyone for sharing their experience. I'm just saying, the numbers speak for themselves. If you want me to attack anyone, let me know
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #22
Gear Head
 

I would like to contribute the idea that it is ok for a woman to be working in the industry and not necessarily be brilliant at it, just learning the ropes and doing ok. I feel like there is an underlying sentiment or expectation that People should say how kick ass this ‘chick I once worked with’ was when we chime in on the topic. Women are after all just human and we all make mistakes including in our jobs and sometimes our work is only satisfactory or less due to tiredness, health, personal issues, inexperience, lack of guidance etc.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump