The music industry has long, long been an old boy’s club. Not as much as it used to be, but there’s still plenty of gender equality to be found. Berklee College of Music’s Music Business Journal takes a look at the situation.
Gender inequality is a big issue in the music industry. At first glance, it may not seem so. Names like Aretha Franklin, Taylor Swift, and Beyonce have become synonymous with success. Billboard’s profile of the fifty most successful women in music impresses. Jody Gerson, soon to be first in command at Universal Music Publishing Group, was a former co-president and head of the West Coast office at Sony/ATV. Julie Greenwald is chairman and C.O.O. at Atlantic Records. Michele Anthony is executive vice president at Universal Music Group. Many more make the industry proud.
Women are also becoming organized. Women in Music (WIM), an interest group, wish to “advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition.”1 Its President, Neeta Ragoowansi, runs a music law office and heads the organisation alongside vice-president Jennifer Newman Sharpe, another prominent lawyer. Some of their past events include a Pro-Bono Legal Clinic at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and meet-ups hosted at the B.M.I. offices in New York City. WIM takes an active role in cultivating the next generation of female leaders. For Julie Greenwald, at Atlantic, this means mentoring one-on-one in company time: “it is important to [me] that they understand how hard it is to juggle it all.”2
Yet all is not well.