Why the Music Business Needs to Wake Up and Embrace Gender Diversity

It’s been a big month in the United Kingdom for gender diversity: on July 19, the BBC was forced to declare the salaries of their top earners and, by doing so, revealed its alarming gender pay gap. Concurrently, UK Music, the campaigning and lobbying group representing the music industry in the UK, launched its second Diversity Survey, its findings forthcoming.

Said Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music: “We need to better reflect the communities we live among. As a creative industry admired across the globe we should be leading by example and setting the bar high for every other industry in the UK.”

Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, has committed to closing the gender gap by 2020. But in America, so far the music industry has yet to commission its own diversity survey.

The questions remain: why in 2017, are we still lacking females in leadership roles? Why hasn’t the digital revolution, which has transformed the music industry, extended to creating a 21st-century working culture, which allows for equal opportunities for all?  Why isn’t this creative industry leading the way in creating diverse teams of people who will think differently, challenge the status quo and create a vibrant and dynamic business? Why does today’s music industry remain pretty much run by the same coterie as it was back in the days of Elvis?

Music acts want the diversity of their community reflected in the people that ‘work’ on their music. As one female artist said, “ I get fed up having my music worked by white, middle aged men — what are they doing with all the women?”

Research has shown that companies that employ women at all levels of their organization, from entry to boardroom, demonstrate tangible business benefits. According to studies, a gender-rich organization consistently outperforms peers that are predominately run by men.

Last month, I hosted a session at the Polar Talks in Stockholm titled “A Roadmap for Gender Diversity”…

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