New Report on Women in the Music Industry Shows Slow Improvement Amid Persistent Discrimination



A new report from MIDiA Research sheds light on the issues facing women in the music industry. Photo: Odin Reyna/Pexels

The second edition of a survey on the place of women in the music industry carried out by the business information and consulting company MIDiA Research shows that female creators believe that there has been a marginal improvement in terms of visibility in public spaces such as events and conferences, even though many other issues – lack of diversity, sexual harassment and ageism – remain the same.

Gathering a total of 952 respondents – 631 women, 267 men (creators and executives) and 54 of other gender identities – the MIDiA Be The Change: Women In Music in 2022 survey largely represents the United States and Canada (47 % of participants), Europe (31 percent) and the rest of the world (22 percent). There were 74 respondents from India of all genders.

The report focuses on understanding what female creators perceive to have changed over the past year. As it stands, the endemic issues of gender discrimination exist in the music industry as well. Sixty-seven percent of female designers say they often witness pressure being put on them to “be good,” and 58 percent say they see “unconscious bias” in action. On a larger scale, the women interviewed – both designers and executives – said they often felt inadequate and doubted their abilities. Sixty-six percent of female executives said there was impostor syndrome when they were compared or collaborated with men.

Right after perception pressures, female designers and executives said they personally experienced sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior (61%) as a challenge. The report also aimed to dissect their findings based on gender, finding that 81% of women in hip-hop and EDM felt they had to work harder than their male counterparts. While ageism and parental perceptions remained front and center, 79% of women in pop music were concerned about ageism, compared to 68% in hip-hop and 80% in EDM.

When it comes to reading responses sent in by men in the music industry, 65% said they have “consciously listened to women” more in the past year. Only 16% said they had created safe spaces or worked to hire or build more diverse teams. MIDiA found that when it came to finding solutions, the option chosen by most female creators (42%) and executives (45%) was mentoring and coaching opportunities to encourage female gender identities and not masculine in the musical space. They looked for resources that were more focused on women and gender minorities (34% of female creators), but also felt that representative quotas at industry awards or live events wouldn’t be of much help. aid.

Although the 74 Indian respondents to the MIDiA Research survey are too few to draw a trend, the company noted that it had found that more Indian women and men were likely to support sensitivity training. gender compared to the global number. In the country, 19% felt that the diversity of women in leadership or power positions had improved over the past year and 78% of women in India said they were very likely to encourage women to enter the music industry.

New Delhi-based techno producer Zequenx aka Zainab Wani says in his statement, “Everything is spinning. People just talk about making changes, and they keep talking about it. It’s not just about “show and tell”. But to create a more diverse industry, we will need some leadership and some proactivity. Independent effort is not enough. It has to be a collective effort – it has to trickle down.

MIDiA’s Managing Director, Mark Mulligan, said in his statement: “We are very proud of this second edition of the ‘Women in Music’ report. Last year’s report had a significant impact on the market, providing long-needed data that revealed the extent of the challenges facing women in music. This year we have built significantly on these foundations, broadening and deepening the scope to address issues such as the role of trust and the perception gap between how men perceive the magnitude of problems versus the reality of things. Unfortunately, little progress has been made over the past year. That’s why we’ve included strong calls to action, in hopes that this time next year we can report on some truly meaningful progress and change.

The survey is sponsored by music platforms such as TuneCore and Believe.

Access the report for free here.

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