#TBT There’s More Than Musician On Musician Bias Going On

Since we’re on a week of HR related topics, I wanted to circle back to a point from Part 2 of the Van Magazine article review. Specifically, the notion that good HR isn’t something that can be pointed at one stakeholder group, it must be top-down throughout the entire organization.

For example, the Van Magazine article focuses exclusively on musician-musician troubles but there one example in particular I wish the article included: Elizabeth Rowe’s lawsuit alleging sex-based pay discrimination at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

We covered that topic with a fine-tooth comb at the time and if there’s been a non-sexual misconduct case over the past decade that serves as the poster child for why the field needs better HR training, retraining, onboarding, and expectations, this is it.

If you don’t recall the details or just want to revisit, you’re in luck because we have six articles on the topic for you to examine. You can visit the topic archives or click through to each individual article below. Be sure to check out the article from 7/13/18: Breaking Down The Elizabeth Rowe Complaint.

Equal Work, Equal Pay Lawsuit Could Change The Entire Landscape Of Musician Individual Agreements

Time To Tame The Wild West Of Equal Pay

Breaking Down The Elizabeth Rowe Complaint

Boston Symphony Pushes Back Against Allegations Of Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

Elizabeth Rowe’s Sex-Based Equal Pay Bias Complaint Goes To Mediation

Slate Magazine’s Take On Improving Sex Based Pay Discrimination Fixes Some Problems But Creates Others

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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