The Association of Artist Managers (AAM) in Australia has updated its Code of Conduct to include a clause on sexual harassment.

The peak body, which has over 220 active managers as members, is the only peak body for managers of contemporary music – a largely unregulated sector of the music industry.

Among 12 clauses relating to professionalism, ethical conduct, duty of care to the artist, and conflict of interest, the Code now features the following addition:

“To not engage in any acts of sexual harassment including unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.”

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour that makes someone feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

The AAM is leading by example in the Australian music industry following the watershed #metoo movement and local #meNOmore open letter for the industry.

Speaking to TIO, AAM Board co-Chair Greg Carey said:

“In the wake of the #meNOmore open letter to the music industry, the AAM as the industry’s peak body representing professional managers it was timely to review the existing Code of Conduct. The purpose was to use clear language around what is not acceptable behaviour in the music industry.”
The AAM is a current member of the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) and benefits its members through travel services and conference registration discounts, peer support, and resources, among other benefits.

Currently, in an instance of sexual harassment among its members, AAM refers the complainant to available support services or authorities and discusses internally as a Board before acting further.

Greg Carey told TIO a blatant disregard of the clause would have permanent ramifications for AAM members

“The Code of Conduct was devised as a tool to guide Association of Artist Managers (AAM) members through their management career, to promote and encourage the utmost ethical, professional and innovative artist management in Australia,” he said. “Our 220+ members are professional artist managers and through their decision to join their peak industry organisation are expected to aspire to the 12 tenements of the Code of Conduct.
“If the AAM became aware of a manager blatantly disregarding the intent of the Code of Conduct their membership would be cancelled and they would no longer be considered a member of the professional artist manager community,” Carey added.

According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, 2.4 million Australians said they experienced harassment in the last year alone.

A recent article published by Women’s Agenda outlines why it’s essential to establish an Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy that clearly defines what is classified as sexual harassment.

Sexual misconduct in the workplace has been given an even larger spotlight locally after the revelation of a sexual relationship between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and a female co-worker. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull changed the ministerial code of conduct and announced sexual relations between ministers and their staff will be prohibited.

Note: TIO’s parent company Seventh Street Media currently includes an Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy in its Code of Conduct. You can read an excerpt of that policy below:

“Seventh Street Media is committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. Behaviour that constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or bullying will not be tolerated and will lead to action being taken, which may include dismissal.”