Harassment in the workplace

Official statement from the Association of Sound Designers
London, 25th January 2018

The Stage’s survey on harassment within the UK theatre industry, published today, has shown that designers are one of the sectors of the theatre industry that receive the most amount of harassment at work, affecting 1 in 3 respondents. The results also showed that when incidents were reported, 77% of the time no action was taken as a result of that report.

Backstage staff were also one of the most harassed sectors, with 1 in 4 respondents having been harassed at work, and 75% of reported incidents went by without any action being taken.

Not only are we failing those who are harassed and feel able to report it, but 70% of harassment incidents go unreported. There are many reasons incidents aren’t reported but creatives and production staff are also often freelance or short-term employees who may feel their employability will be affected by “rocking the boat”. Clear and more effective procedures need to be put in place to allow incidents to be reported and dealt with, safe from consequence for the victim of the harassment.

Compared to many industries, employees are often given little or no guidance or training on how to deal with harassment in the workplace. As an industry we need to look outside to get insight into best practice to improve this. As individuals we all need to ask our employers what the procedures are. Not when there is an issue, but when we are first employed. We must all push to ensure this issue is taken seriously and that procedures are established. 

Whilst it is vital that we need to improve the handling and response to those incidents, what is most shocking is how clearly prevalent and normalised harassment is within our industry. This must change. 

Dealing with harassment and the causes of it is a complex and multi-faceted issue, but The #MeToo movement has shown that a few voices speaking out, makes others feel safer about speaking out. And the more voices speaking out, the less power a harasser has. We all have to use our voice, to take responsibility to call out unacceptable behaviour, to be clear about appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and to support each other. 

As an organisation we are inviting suggestions as to what materials, resources and training you feel we could offer to help improve this situation. You can email us confidentially at admin@associationofsounddesigners.com or leave anonymous comments here:

A high resolution version of our logo is available for download here.
For further information, please contact:
Gareth Fry, Chair, Association of Sound Designers
+44 7973 352669


The Association of Sound Designers (ASD) was set up in 2011 to represent and support sound designers and those working in the UK theatre sound industry. 

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