8 March marks a special day in the world awareness calendar – International Women’s Day. And what better time to talk about sex, the so-called ‘fairer’ sex that is, and the challenges facing women in the music industry?
The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. That’s 169 years until our great, great, great granddaughters will finally enjoy:
- Fair representation on conference panels;
- Being considered in the first instance for opportunities for which they are equally qualified;
- Headlining line-ups without organisers wondering if tickets will sell;
- Being invited to sit on advisory boards; and
- Holding proportional high level positions in labels and industry organisations – there are currently no female artist and repertoire representatives working at the major record labels, an article by Leanne DeSouza reports.
A welcome exception to the current rule, recently appointed Executive Director for the Association of Artist Managers (AAM), DeSouza said, “For women business owners, access to the two key resources – time and money – can be challenging. Money for investment in the business to weather the cyclical nature of the music industry and time – when needing to attend to family and domestic duties.”
“Until women have equity of access to be paid what they are worth and support services for the time and energy demands of the music business, gender parity will remain illusive.”
While gender gap issues have been highlighted in recent times, we still have urgent work to do. Two centuries is just too long to wait.
“Decision makers need to appoint on merit, skills and expertise and not just who is in established networks alone,” said DeSouza.
You too can be a leader of change in the music industry. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Question your own conscious and unconscious bias.
- Pull yourself others up on exclusive language.
- Challenge stereotypes.
- Put qualified women forward for opportunities.
- Support or back a woman-owned business or initiative.
- Invite women into situations where they’re not already present or contributing.
- Tag your ideas on the socials
By Kylie Cobb