HOUSTON, Texas. The New York Times recently reported that the leading flutist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra has sued the orchestra for gender discrimination. The leading flutist claims that she is only paid 75% of what another man in the orchestra gets paid. Under Massachusetts law, women must be paid equally for performing equal work. For women who seek pay equity, proving that their jobs have equal demands can be among the more challenging aspects of seeking pay equity, or suing for back pay. Yet, the woman’s case seems to be strong. In addition to being paid less than a male flutist in the orchestra, she is also paid less than the orchestra’s principal trumpet, viola, timpani, and French horn players. All of the players who are paid more are men.
Orchestra pay is set on a minimum base salary, but artists can receive additional solo fees, instrument costs, pay for promotional duties, and pay for other aspects of the job.
According to the Times, the woman suing the orchestra claims that she tried to seek pay raises privately with her employer, but the orchestra failed to raise her wages to make them competitive with the male salaries.
This is not the only case where women in the music industry have claimed gender pay bias. In the United Kingdom, the music industry plans to bridge the gender pay gap by 2020. However, Variety reports that the U.S. music industry has failed to even begin to survey its musicians to see where the problems lie. Women in the music industry noted to Variety that they don’t see many women in leadership roles. Some music industry leaders, like Spotify want to see 50/50 gender representation at all levels of leadership.
One of the reasons why women end up leaving the music industry is the lack of equal pay. Women often struggle to balance child bearing, child rearing, and a high-powered career. When employers fail to offer support, women can suffer. Women also suffer when they don’t find mentors who are women to help promote and support them. This can happen in all areas of the music industry.
In the case of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the men are supporting the women. They believe that the flutist should receive equal pay and are willing to support her. Not all men are willing to do this and some may not even reveal their salaries, leaving many women not even aware that there is a salary gap to begin with.
So, what can you do if you suspect that there may be a gender pay gap in your job? Start by talking to your boss or to human resources. If talks don’t get you anywhere, consider speaking to the Houston, Texas employment attorneys at Moore & Associates. Our firm can take the time to help you understand your rights and fight to help you get the back pay you may deserve. Visit us at https://www.mooreandassociates.net/ to learn more.
Moore & Associates
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675
Houston, TX 77002