By Nanni Singh
Women make music and Women sing songs. They sing solo and they sing along. What is music? Notes collaborating and fusing to make a sound that emotes a feeling. Words enhance that collaboration. Every song or a musical piece will have a different meaning each time one hears it. Hows that for the power of music! Yet the music industry has for some reason always been majorly male dominated, globally. Take the music producers, composers, lyricists, mix-master engineers, arrangers, they’re all men. Music publishers, labels and even conductors of orchestras. Systemic challenges make it so that women have to work much harder —often for far less financial gains and recognition than men.
Surveys have revealed that women make up about one third of musicians and they have reported experiencing high rates of discrimination and sexual harassment: 72% of female musicians have reported gender inequality and 67% have been a victim of sexual harassment. Forbes reported that women make up 21.7 percent of artists, 12.3 percent of songwriters, and 2.1 percent of producers and that’s due to just the same reasons. This is not encouraging data for women to continue being in this industry, leave alone take on leadership responsibilities.
Gender pay-gap, across all different aspects of the music industry, is significant. While there is an improvement from the previous years, results have cemented an urgency for action for action by the industry leaders to address this. While there are a handful of amazing women who have broken the glass ceiling, the reality is that we need more. Now is the time to call for action. Yes, when it comes to hiring, but also advocating for representation at all levels. This can be done by actively putting women in the room with the right people, listening to and implementing their ideas, working to treat women as their equal in every instance, and most importantly, ensuring equal pay and titles to their male counterparts. Men in particular, need to take notice of what we have been saying, and understand the ways in which the women around them have contributed to their success and finally recognise that. At the end of the day, this industry will be a much better place for all of us when we can truly be inclusive and equitable at all levels. These are just my thoughts as a woman working closely in and with the music industry. Theres a lot of sitting potential, needs to be given the right acknowledgement.