Rachel Jepson's new book, Mental Health In The Music Industry: A Guide will be of interest to women working in the music industry. Rachel is a musician and counsellor with more than twenty years experience in the music industry who has presented her work to the ISM and Help Musicians UK amongst others.
There are many issues affecting the mental health of women in the music industry. I write about some of these issues in my new book ‘Mental Health in The Music Industry: A Guide’. To begin with, there is a major gender imbalance within the music industry in terms of senior management. According to a survey by UK Music, only 30% of senior positions in the music industry are occupied by women. Why is this? It could be a lack of encouragement, self-esteem, confidence and role models. There are a lack of role models and opportunities when it comes to certain music industry roles such as managers, tour managers, producers, mixers, sound engineers leading to some women not believing they will succeed if they pursue these careers. Women also have the added pressure of touring and working in the music industry whilst being a mother, feeling pressure from their orchestra, label, manager etc to tour whilst also feeling judged and guilty if they do so. It has been well-documented that some female artists have been abused, controlled and harassed whilst working in the music industry. There is a culture of: ‘’You’re lucky to be here and someone else will do it if you don’t.’’ For women in the industry, there is always a pressure to look beautiful and accept that they will be sexualised; this is not the same for men. Famous female musicians who live in the public eye are scrutinised, criticised and trolled if they have put on weight, had surgery, dyed their hair, worn the wrong dress leading to issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and a distorted body image. I am not saying that some of the issues do not affect men, but they are a part of everyday life for most women in the music industry. Awareness must be raised of some of these issues, and support provided. I’m hoping this book, and my CPD accredited course in Mental Health Awareness In The Music Industry will address this.