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Women In The Music Industry: A List Of Organisations and Programmes Advocating For Positive Change

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Being a Woman in the music industry comes with a wealth of challenges but fortunately we are slowly starting to see some positive progression in tackling these issues. In light of this we've listed a few incredible organisations, programmes and initiatives helping to work towards positive change.

In recent years there has been a small advance in the awareness of the challenges women in the music industry face, and increasingly conversations are being held about equality and gender inclusivity within the sector. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure women in the Music Business are protected, have access to equal pay and opportunities and are given the recognition they deserve for their talent and the important roles they play, which are often undermined.

Excitingly, there are a number of initiatives, programmes and organisations working towards exactly that, helping to shine a spotlight on female talent and help women gain access to education and career opportunities in the music and entertainment industry.

Check out some of our favourites below!

WomeninCtrl are an inspiring non-profit organisation which sets out to empower, connect and inspire Women within the music industry.

They have a private membership community, completely free of charge, to help like-minded Women and non-binary individuals connect in a safe environment. They offer members the chance to attend webinars, panel discussions and training programmes as well as the opportunity to get involved with some of their amazing research and campaigning.

Although their focus is on uplifting Women and other underrepresented groups, WomeninCTRL does in fact welcome and encourage anyone who wants to get involved, to join and be a part of their community. They wrote "We welcome all that identify as women, non-binary and gender variant individuals, those who identify as LGBTQ+, individuals from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds or are registered disabled. We also encourage men to join and be part of the community."

A research project curated by WomeninCTRL and #RadioSilence also recently set out to understand the experience of Women in radio in particular.

Recent diversity reports have shown an increase in Women occupying roles in radio and on the most part the statistics are incredibly encouraging to think more women are being welcomed into these roles. However, as pointed out in WomeninCTRL and Radio Silence's research report, these statistics don't account for local and community stations, don't give any indication for the type of roles there are being occupied in and provide no information on how these women are being treated once in the role, questioning are Women "given the same treatment, opportunities and protection as their male counterparts" once occupying these roles and what sort of barriers exist for Women going from entry level roles to positions of power.

And just some of the key findings taken from a questionnaire conducted as part of the research report revealed alarming statistics such as the fact that 84.3% of Women asked said that they felt it was harder for women to progress their career in radio. Other devastating findings included that 69.6% of participants felt their appearance had an effect on job opportunities they were being offered, 60.9% have said they've experienced indirect or direct sexist comments about their physical appearance in the workplace and 39% sharing they have felt unsafe at work.

You can check out the research report in full, sign up to their membership community and find out more information about WomeninCTRL by checking out their website, simply click here!

Future 1000 is a brand-new, free training programme which aims to "introduce 1000 female, trans and non-binary students into electronic music by 2022."

The new programme is a collaboration between 'Future DJ's' and Radio 1 DJ and Presenter Jaguar, which will provide young Women with the support they need to begin their journey's in the music industry.

Commenting on the exciting new initiative, Jaguar took to her Instagram to write "I’m extremely proud to be a woman in dance music, and while I’m lucky to have female friends and male allies who work in music, the industry still feels very male-heavy and I find myself being the only girl in the room, which is intimidating. So this is how we’re going to level the playing field and address the gender imbalance." You can check out her Instagram post in full below.

The 12-part online course will be held across the school summer holidays until the end of 2021 and will cover a number of different aspects of the industry including DJ-ing, Presenting, Music Production and more.

The opportunity is available to UK based students aged 12-18 and requires no previous experience or a need to own any sort of special equipment to be able to get involved. However, students wanting to take part must be nominated/signed up by a Teacher in order to be enrolled on the course.

If you're a student simply forward the link to their website either to your music or Head Teacher where they'll be able to nominate up to two of their students to take part. Click here to be taken to their website for more information about the training programme and the how to sign someone up.

Girls I Rate is a popular movement which began in 2016 that "pushes for change and creates opportunities for young Women in the Music and Entertainment industry."

The platform was founded by the inspiring Carla Marie Williams, a multi-platinum award winning Songwriter, Producer and Singer. Carla has experienced first hand what's it like to be a female in the music industry and the challenges that come along with it which is what inspired her to create a movement that unites and creates opportunities for women in the music and creative sector.

As part of the GIR movement, the platform offers a wealth of different opportunities for all women, including their GIR Arts Academy and mentorship programmes.

They've also built up their incredible #GIRARMY which consists of over 5000 members and gives women the opportunity to connect with other female creatives and provide them with access to exciting opportunities such as "group discussions, mentoring sessions, masterclasses, Songwriting camps, GIR Radio, GIR Youtube channel and much much more."

Click here to check out their website to read more about some of the amazing work they do!

Sadly, gender inequality within the music industry is still very much prevalent despite some improvements being made in regards to job opportunities and general societal attitudes. Therefore, it's imperative that people continue to have open and honest conversations about the issue and do what they can to help abolish discrimination and ensure women feel safe and protected in the workplace.

Make sure to check out some of the different organisations we've listed and be sure to let us know any of your favourites!

Click the link below for our socials so that you can get in touch and have your say.


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