Friday, February 2, 2018

WIRTW #492 (the “step up” edition)

As a dad of a woman (girl) who may someday live in the music industry, I read with great interest the comments of Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, responding to why women were so under-represented as winners at this year’s Grammys.
It has to begin with … women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us—us as an industry—to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.

Artists were less than enthusiastic about his “step up” comment.

After the backlash, Portnow has apologized (“Regrettably, I used two words, ‘step up,’ that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make”), while female music execs are calling for his ouster.

I have no idea what Portnow believes about women in his industry, nor do I think that what he said is quite as evil as what the press has conveyed. I also don’t know whether his apology is sincere or is just a self-serving attempt to save his job.

What I do know is that #MeToo and #TimesUp are not going away. And comments like Portnow’s, which will be played and replayed for effect, do not help the cause of male executives. We as men need to do better, both in our messaging and our actions, because no protected class of employees deserved to be second class.

Here’s what I read this week:



HR & Employee Relations

Wage & Hour


OSHA & Safety