Here’s the thing: Most pro athletes started as sports fans; most Broadway performers started as theater kids; most chefs started as foodies; and most musicians started as die-hard music fans.
One of the most magical elements of being a fan of something is how quickly it informs your own life experience — how it empowers you to carve a way to make your dreams come true.
For women and gender non-conforming folks in the music industry, paving the way takes a lot more effort than their cis, male counterparts.
In 2022, women made up 12.8% of songwriters, 22.3% of artists, and 2.8% of producers in the music industry, according to an annual report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
So, even if you might be a SZA or Miley Cyrus devotee, women in music are hardly getting their flowers.
The good news is, like Patti Smith or Sister Rosetta Thorpe, women know how to make some noise.
While there are countless programs, nonprofits, resources, and organizations working to equalize the music industry, we wanted to highlight a few that work hard to make gender equality sound like music to our ears.
Organizations supporting women in the music industry
In a cozy record store in Australia, you won’t have to spend hours sifting through vintage vinyl to find women artists. At Suffragette Records, every album is by women (or gender non-conforming artists).
The Tasmanian shop only recently opened, and in-store and online, music lovers can shop new and preloved vinyl, cassettes, and more.
“Popular music (by men) often projects lyrics steeped in misogyny and objectification of women,” the Suffragette Records website reads. “To temper this, we want to celebrate great music made primarily by women. Such music can be filled with power and passion, soul and sensitivity. We reckon young people deserve easier access to great music made by women, and we hope to provide an inviting, snob-free space to allow that.”
Amplify Her Voice
Amplify Her Voice is a global community of over 300,000 working to advance women’s music careers through educational, networking, and creative opportunities.
Offering internships and mentorships, and partnering with over 40 other organizations and campaigns, Amplify Her Voice is the hub for gender equality in music.
Girls Behind The Rock Show
Girls Behind The Rock Show (GBTRS) helps break barriers for folks of marginalized genders by partnering with artists, festivals, producers, and record labels to provide accessible learning and mentoring opportunities to their community.
With their signature Roadie For A Day program, virtual workshops, and internship placements, GBTRS gives marginalized music-lovers the hands-on experience they need to thrive.
Fan To Band
Fan To Band works with people of all genders but primarily activates long-stigmatized “fangirls” who are seeking opportunities in the music industry.
The organization provides educational resources, workshops, speaking engagements, and more for aspiring music industry professionals.
“Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve recently discovered your inner fan after years, staying a fan at heart takes real work,” the organization shared on Instagram. “If you truly care about creating change in music, keep going. We need more of you.”
Book More Women
In 2023, all-male acts make up 64% of music festival lineups, and Book More Women refuses to accept that.
The platform removes all-male music acts from festival lineup posters to visually show how few women musicians are on the bill. The movement demonstrates the pervasive gender inequality in the industry and helps create gender-balanced festivals for all.
She Is The Music
She Is The Music is a nonprofit working to increase the number of women working in music, from singers and songwriters, to engineers, producers, artists, and other industry professionals. The organization has created an industry database of women creators, an all-women songwriting series, and more.
Diversify The Stage
Beyond just gender equality, Diversify The Stage is a community of music industry professionals that do work at the intersection of disproportionately impacted communities to create equality and opportunity in live events, music, and touring.
The focus of this work is on workplace standards, so the industry is more prepared to embrace a new generation of music industry leaders.
Keychange is a Europe-based organization reaching over 12 countries around the world to create a more inclusive music industry.
Through career development programming, a gender balance pledge for music companies, and a policy manifesto, aiming to end pay disparities, sexual harassment, and lack of opportunities on every level.
A version of this article was originally published in The Fandom Edition of the Goodnewspaper.
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