1.Greet Everyone in the Room
This may sound like a very simple thing, but things can go wrong right from the start of a session. Women have regularly told us they are not being greeted when they enter the studio, they are ignored whilst men are spoken to. Often they feel they are being perceived as a 'groupie' or assumed to be a girlfriend instead of being treated as an equal.
2.Unsolicited Advice on Music
If you have an opinion or suggestion on the music being made, ask if it's wanted. Sometimes unwanted advice can be intimidating, disrespectful, or just unwanted. Women have reported changing what or how they recorded as a result of feeling intimidated by producers' comments whilst in the studio, leaving them unhappy with the end product.
The same goes for how women want to be marketed, and other aspects of their careers. For example, something like encouraging women to be "sexy" may be inappropriate. Women also have told us when entering the audio industry they’ve been pushed to perform, rather than pursue engineering, production or other audio roles.
Often studio suites can be quite small. Be wary of invading someone's personal space. If you’re not sure about squeezing into a spot next to someone to adjust settings or a microphone/equipment, just ask.
5.Be Aware of the Use of Derogatory Language and Inappropriate Comments
Unfortunately, there are far too many instances and examples that we have come across of sexist and derogatory language being used in studios, even including in educational environments. This can be unwelcoming, uncomfortable and even triggering for some people. The music industry has a very causal feel to it, which a lot of us love it for, but remember this is still a profession and professionalism is always welcomed.
If you have a website you can provide a link to cactuscity.org/resources which provides a details of number of different organisations who are dedicated to making changes in the industry for women.
7.Display a Poster
Display a poster to let studio visitors know you've signed up to the charter. We have different designs to choose from so you have the choice of which one works best for your studio. You can print a poster from our website (see below).
8.Be understanding of chaperone requests
Chaperones should be welcomed if a request has been made to bring one. Try not show hostility towards a request for or suggestion of a chaperone. If you feel you don't have space to accommodate such requests you might wish to refer the artist to a studio that is able to, or consider look at booking a larger space for the session if possible.
9.Procedures for reporting inappropriate behaviour
Depending on the size of your organisation it may be worthwhile developing your own procedures for reporting inappropriate behaviour in a confidential way. For smaller organisations without the capacity to create procedures, you may wish to refer to other organisations found in our resources pages on cactuscity.org/resources
10.Late Night Sessions
Will there be Alcohol? Are people expected to catch the last train home, or take a night bus? If there’s going to be alcohol on site, make people aware that they are welcome to drink responsibly and not to pressure others who choose not to. Create a list of trusted public transport companies that people can use to get home and maybe designate an indoor space where people can wait for taxis.
By setting these standards, the studio becomes a safer space for creative freedom for all to enjoy without fear of harassment.
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