Challenges Facing Women In The Music Industry

This Women’s History Month we’ve witnessed a noticeable shift in the growing effort to include more women in electronic/dance music. The release of the UNDERPLAYED documentary stirred up some much needed conversation and the all-women digital festival lineups didn’t go unnoticed — but, there’s still a long way to go. Nine out of ten women creatives agree that the music business treats female artists differently from male artists. 81% think that it is harder for female artists to get recognition than male artists.

According to new research titled BE THE CHANGE: Women Making Music from MIDiA Research, TuneCore and Believe, women face various pressing issues in the music industry — and unfortunately, the most cited of them is sexual harassment. A startling 64% of participants in the study reported experiences of sexual harassment / objectification while working as songwriters, artists, producers and/or DJs. Biggest Challenges: Sexualization and objectification (64%), ageism (38%), lack of access to male-dominated industry resources (36%) and lower pay (27%).

Challenges facing women in the music industry are broken down into three glaring categories — Discrimination which includes sexual harassment, ageism and lower pay; Resources: which includes male dominated resources, getting representation, and lack of female-first resources; and finally, Confidence including lack of confidence, lack of female role models, and the fact labels are male dominated. 42% of creators want to see more impact, and sooner. There are some reassuring findings as well, because women have felt more empowered and confident to speak up. 42% of creators want to see more impact and 35% of creators are hopeful for change to come from learning and shared experiences in the form of coaching and mentoring. Read the full study here.

Photo via Calder Wilson for Insomniac Events