Women in the Music Industry (or the Lack Thereof)

It is a fact that women are underrepresented and underpaid in the music industry. There is not only a shortage of female artists in the charts but of songwriters and there are hardly any female producers. On top of that out of the 1,064 people who were nominated for Grammys in the five main categories between 2013 to 2019, 89.6 percent were male, and 10.4 percent were female. So music is dominated by men. How can we change this?

A pivotal breakthrough was made by Third Side Music, an independently owned music publisher based in Los Angeles & Montreal with both its Licensing and Creative Services departments run by women. Third Side Music’s team was interviewed about the issue of underrepresentation. Natalie Cervelli, who is Head of Creative Licensing Advertising and Trailers at Third Side Music, said that women can break through by working hard and building relationships. She said the industry is “very social” and earning trust is essential. There are also female artists on the rise young girls can look up to.

Artists like Ariana Grande help by being the idol that will inspire the next generation of women to join the music industry. Grande said with her release of thank u, next she was releasing her music the way men are allowed to do. Male artists tend to get more freedom with how often and how much they release. By putting out thank u, next right after Sweetner, Grande is fighting the double standard that all women in the music industry face. So Grande stood up for her desire to "drop it the way these boys do" and came out with a hit album in only six months.

Another woman pushing back is Beyoncé, who was named music's most powerful woman by BBC Woman's Hour power list in 2018. Beyoncé has been an idol and a feminist icon for a long time, along with being an inspirational woman of color. She says she considers herself to be a "black Bill Gates in the making". So she is proud of her own accomplishments, which is something that needs to be seen. In a male-dominated industry, women need to show their self-love to help empower and inspire young women that look up to them. 

Another advocate of self-love is Demi Lovato, who discussed her struggle with self-acceptance in a recent Instagram story. She included a women appreciation post and wrote that "sometimes idk who needs to hear it, maybe it's me but someone needs to know they are beautiful and worthy of love." She admits that she isn't always confident in herself and that it important to promote self-worth and acceptance.

The annual report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reveals that little has changed for women in music since 2018. But with Grande, Lovato, and Beyoncé's inspiration and encouragement, maybe we’ll see a change in the years to come.

Pictures: 1, 2, 3

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11