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Women In CTRL and PPL launch event series to improve board-level gender representation

Today Women in CTRL, the not-for-profit organisationwhich aims to empower women in the creative industries, and music licensing company PPL announce a Board Development Programme to help increase diversity on the boards within the UK music industry. It comes a fortnight after the two organisations released the second edition of the ‘Seat at the Table’ report1, which analyses the demographics of 12 music industry trade body boards. It found that, while the picture had improved, there was still significant underrepresentation of women.

The programme will consist of five monthly sessions which aim to help women put themselves forward for and attain board-level roles. Speakers include a wealth of female industry leaders and professionals:

  • Jackie Davidson MBE, Founder of JD Management and PPL and MPA Board Director
  • Kelli-Leigh, singer/songwriter and FAC Board Observer
  • Laura May, Founder of May Music and MPA Board Director
  • Mary Ann Sieghart, author of ‘The Authority Gap’, journalist, radio presenter and former assistant editor of The Times
  • Professor Samantha Warren, Professor in Organisation Studies, Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Portsmouth, and Founder of ‘In the Key of She’
  • Michelle Escoffery, President of the PRS Members’ Council and Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter

Topics to be covered include: understanding how boards work; how to canvas for votes; addressing unconscious bias; imposter syndrome; and the business case for diversity. The sessions will be available to PPL members and those who work in the broader music industry.

The first session takes place on Tuesday 24 August and the programme will run monthly until the end of the year. The sessions will be hosted by Women in CTRL Founder Nadia Khan, and are:

Tuesday 24 August: Demystifying Boards – The journey to a Seat at the Table
This introductory session will break down the key function of boards, give an overview of upcoming board positions, and detail the eligibility criteria and elections process. 


Thursday 30 September: Exploring The Authority Gap - Why women are still taken less seriously than men, and what we can do about it.
An in-conversation with Mary Ann Sieghart, author of ‘The Authority Gap’, who exposes unconscious bias in her fresh feminist take on how to address and counteract systemic sexism in ways that benefit us all.


Tuesday 26 October: Confidence & Imposter Syndrome and jobs that ‘aren’t for us’
An in-conversation with Professor Samantha Warren to debunk myths about ‘imposter syndrome’ and women’s so-called lack of confidence when it comes to stepping up to senior roles.


Tuesday 23 November: The Power of Women – The case for diversity
An in-depth look at some of the barriers women face in getting a Seat at the Table, the value women bring to the table, and the business case for diversity.


December (date TBC): Getting a Seat at the Table – panel and networking session
Meet women holding board positions across the music industry in this interactive panel and networking session.


More information and tickets for the August event can be found here.


Nadia Khan, Founder of Women in CTRL and Chair of AIM, said:
“The 5-part Women in CTRL Board programme with PPL is all about demystifying the elusive board process. Over the course of the series inspiring women across the industry will help us tackle imposter syndrome, understand the value of diverse voices and provide practical advice on how to get nominated and canvas votes. Ultimately, we will hear why it’s important to step up and have your voice heard! Women in music face many barriers such as parent penalty, income disparity, discrimination, harassment, sexism, ageism, unconscious bias and more. It’s through listening to women and hearing their experiences we can understand the true nature of the barriers that exist. I firmly believe that by inviting those women to have a seat around the table, they will use their voice to enable organisations to truly make better decisions for their members and stakeholders. It’s a win for all.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL, said:
“The recent Seat at the Table report showed there is much more to be done before our boards and leadership positions truly reflect the diverse make-up of our society. PPL has made progress on this over the last year by increasing the number of women on our Board, but this is just the start and I am proud to partner with Women in CTRL on this programme. By encouraging women to put themselves forward for these roles, we can continue the good work the industry has started and keep moving towards an equitable, diverse and inclusive UK music industry.”

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