UK Women in Music ad campaign highlights the lack of gender diversity at UK industry events 18 Sep 2018
It's not often the music industry at large agree on something but a campaign launched today to highlight the lack of diversity at UK music industry events appears to be something the industry widely agrees needs addressing.
Starting today a series of ads both in print and online roll out across the UK music industry media backed by 20 organisations and companies including The Music Managers Forum (MMF), Association of Independent Music (AIM), AWAL, World Independent Network (WIN), Tileyard, Music Venue Trust (MVT), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), PRS Foundation (PSRF), Featured Artist Coalition (FAC), , Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), International Talent Booking (ITB), Believe, UK Music, British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA,) Help Musicians UK, She Said So and more.
The ads read: "We believe it is the responsibility of every music industry conference, awards show and every trade publication to truly reflect and celebrate the increasing diversity in our industry. Time and time again incredible women are left out of nominations, not to mention successful BAME and LGBT people, and it's time this changed. We call on and offer our support to all music industry conferences and awards to ensure they have a diverse and representative selection process in the future. As a sign of appreciation, recognition, gratitude and respect we list here just some of the amazing UK managers, co-managers, agents and promoters working in our industry that could and should have been nominated for such awards and hope you will join us in celebrating them and recognising them and their achievements going forward."
The statement is followed by an extensive crowd sourced list of just some of the amazing female managers, co managers, agents and promoters working in the UK music industry including Joyce Smyth (Rolling Stones), Wendy Laister (Duran Duran) Ros Earls (2018 Mercury Award nominated Nadine Shah), Polly Bhowmik (Kylie Minogue), Juliet Wills (Billy Bragg), Grace Ladoja (Skepta) , Debbie Gwyther (Liam Gallagher) and many, many more.
The campaign was spearheaded by Deviate Digital founder & CEO Sammy Andrews in response to the Live UK awards nomination announcements in which several categories including agent of the year, manager of the year and independent promoter failed to name many, (in some cases any) women despite there being hundreds that could and should qualify for nomination.
Speaking about the campaign Andrews said "I would first of all like to thank the hundreds of people that collectively made this possible. These ads were funded by a combination of my own money and crowd funding along with donated ad space and every name here was crowd sourced when I put a call out to the industry to name some of the amazing women they work with. The response was incredible and I received over 800 messages and emails backing the initiative from major label MDs and CEOs to artists, mangers and beyond.
Clearly this is an issue that many people believe needs addressing and to some degree I am delighted to say that this action has already worked as the awards in question have publicly pledged to do better next year but I hope these ads will serve more widely as a reminder of just how many amazing women we have in the music business as well as a reminder of what transformative change can be achieved when people work together for the greater good"
In support of the ads Andreea Magdalina founder of one of the worlds largest Women In Music organisations, She Said So said; "The lack of representation in the music industry is often linked to a lack of visibility. This list is the undeniable proof there are so many talented voices yet to be discovered and celebrated."
It's not the first time Andrews has spearheaded such a campaign, in 2017 she launched Let's Be The Change www.letsbethechange.co.uk a database for female and BAME speakers in the music industry in response to her frustration at often being the only woman speaking at music industry conferences. Since its conception the database now has over 1000 female speakers and has placed over 400 women at industry events across the globe. It continues to accept sign ups and anyone wishing to join can do so at I www.letsbethechange.co.uk
To view an online version of the ads visit: www.letsbethechange.co.uk
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