News November 22, 2018

Gender inequality in music biz manifesto launched at European Parliament

Staff Writer
Gender inequality in music biz manifesto launched at European Parliament

Gender inequality in the music business has to be tackled, according to a manifesto launched at the European Parliament in Brussels.

It was the initiative of , set up in September 2017 to aim at equality in the music industry worldwide.

It first came to attention when it and 140 festival partners committed to 50:50 balance on their bills by 2022.

This has primarily been festivals in Europe and Canada, but a number of Australian events have also come on board.

Music associations and 80 emerging artists are also part of Keychange.

The manifesto was presented by Keychanger founder Vanessa Reed, who is also CEO of PRS Foundation, which funds new music and talent.

The full manifesto is here.

It identifies four core areas which need to be addressed:

* Working conditions and lack of senior role models – Addressing recruitment, remuneration, career development and sexual harassment policies in a male-dominated workforce

* Investment – Making more funds available, from the industry and public sector at a national and European level, for targeted programmes which empower under-represented artists and industry professionals

* Research – commissioning an independent analysis of the current gender gap, including an economic impact study of companies with increased female participation   

* Education – promoting role models and career campaigns in schools which tackle gender stereotypes and diversify career options for young men and women.

Vanessa Reed said: “Launching this manifesto at an event which brings together Keychange participants, MEPs, the European Commission and music industry bodies is an important way of demonstrating how far we’ve come since we launched Keychange in September 2017 with funding from the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme.

“Alongside the overwhelming interest in the Keychange Festival pledge, the manifesto highlights the valuable contributions Keychange artists and innovators are making to the wider-reaching debate about what needs to change in the industry.

“Collaborative action and a wholesale look at how we can nurture and sustain a broader range of talent in our workforce underpins their proposals.

“I hope this first set of recommendations provides a powerful starting point for further debate  about the best practical steps towards tangible and lasting improvements which will benefit everyone.”

Alex Schulz, Reeperbahn festival director, added: “As a Keychange partner, it’s been great to see how quickly awareness has spread amongst festivals across the world who’ve joined in with our collective pledge towards gender equality.

“As many of our events are at the same time market-places for talents, this pledge will definitely change the gender balance among the next generation of headliners.

“The manifesto gives us a chance to reflect on challenges across other parts of the music industry which impact on the female artists and industry pros we’re supporting.

“I hope the manifesto’s recommendations will stimulate further collaboration between the industry, governments and the European Commission, and that we start to see more companies nurturing and benefiting from the full breadth of talent which could be contributing to music in Europe.”

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