Sony Music’s United States head office is investigating allegations of discrimination, bullying and harassment within its Sony Music Australia offshoot.
As reported by Sydney Morning Herald‘s Nathanael Cooper, former and current employees of Sony Music Australia have been contacted by the global head of Sony Music’s human resources after a staff member of the Darlinghurst branch filed a complaint. The HR head, who is based in New York, has reportedly had confidential discussions with at least four former and current staff members.
Head honchos within Sony Australia have been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. A former member of Sony Australia, who worked as a label coordinator for four years, alleges that she was sexually harassed by a senior manager the day before her performance review.
“We were at a casual work event where everyone was drinking except me. I remember (the senior manager) slurring his speech when he told me he would be doing my performance review the next day,” she said via SMH.
“He leaned in and looked down my top and said ‘if your review was based on your physique you’d get top marks’.”
The unnamed source claims that after complaining to Sony Music Australia’s human resources department she was offered a promotion that never materialised. The same woman claims that she was sexually assaulted by a different senior manager at Sony, who groped her breast at a concert.
Another woman has revealed that during her time at Sony, junior female employees were preyed upon by senior men without consequences. She details an incident where she had consensual sex with a Sony Music Australia executive and was later admonished by HR for “upsetting” the executive after referencing the affair at a work function.
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The report also details multiple occasions where Sony Music Australia allegedly made pregnant women and new mothers redundant, only to re-name their roles and hire new employees.
The revelations follow the firing of Tony Glover, former vice-president of commercial music at Sony Music Australia, whose three-decade career ended after a weeks-long investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour back in April.
“It was common knowledge not to be alone with Tony when he was drunk, I never put myself in a position where I was alone with him,” one woman, who was managed by Glover, told SMH.
A former staff member claims that she raised concerns about Glover’s behaviour but they were dismissed.
“I remember trying to speak to a more senior colleague and she said ‘this is the culture here, you will get used to it’,” she said. “I spoke to a few other friends there about it, other junior staff members, it was just so normal I was looked at strangely for raising questions about him.”
Following this damning report coming to light, several high-ranking employees at Sony Music Australia have claimed that the culture at the company has shifted.
Sony Music Australia has promoted at least eight female employees in the past 12 months, with two women occupying senior roles: Kate Bonanno now leads the publicity team looking after Australian artists, and Sophie McCarthur holds a vice president role.
Meanwhile, Lucy Baker is elevated to Communications Manager, with responsibilities for raising public awareness and developing strategic plans for Sony Music’s international and domestic acts. Also rising up the ranks is Annastasia Robertson, who is named Media Manager, reporting to Bonanno.
Sophie Paterson of Spotify was also recently poached as senior director of audience development & digital communications.