Reports Music

BE THE CHANGE - Women Making Music

Report by Hanna Kahlert and Srishti Das


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Be The Change: Women Making Music

Key insights

  • Gendered expectations have skewed recognition and reward in the music industry: of        women creators around the world,        think that it is harder for female artists to get recognition than male artists
  • Linked to this is the fact that there are not as many female role models for independent creators        agree,        ‘agree strongly’)
  • Almost two-thirds of female creators identified sexual harassment or objectification as a key challenge, making it by far the most widely-cited problem
  • Sexualisation and objectification are a consequence (or symptom) of unbalanced power dynamics, as shown by the next ‘big three challenges’: ageism (identified by        lack of access to male-dominated industry resources        and lower pay       
  • These major challenges are symptomatic of deeper issues of systemic male dominance permeating industry attitudes and behaviours; over        of our respondents said that they had experienced unconscious bias – nearly half of them frequently
  • Music composition, production and sound has long been connected primarily with men, so it is no surprise that the majority of female creators        feel excluded from the composition and production, which makes this aspect of music creation highly ‘genderized’
  • Although the overall representation of women in society has increased over the past few decades,        of women still feel that there exists a perception that women are expected to take on the primary role of parenting duties. The music industry wants female artists to be young – partly a symptom of the industry’s youth obsession, but also so that women become successful before they are presumed to decide to take on the role of motherhood
  • To bring more female creators into the industry, women want changes to come from within organisations and from leaders across the music industry through diversity, policies and culture, with        stating this as one of the ‘top three’ ways to encourage more women into the industry. Meanwhile,        of female creators want to see this organisational change underpinned by legislation
  • The most practical starting point is in female-friendly resources and safe workspaces        and        of women creators want more change to come from learning and shared experiences, in the form of coaching and mentoring

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