Black women severely underrepresented in the big 12 music industry organisations

black woman playing guitar, music studio, music industry

Black women are severely underrepresented in the big 12 music industry organisations, according to a new report.

The Seat At The Table report, conducted by Women in CTRL, found that women are underrepresented in leadership positions within the music industry. The report found that only 27 per cent of CEOs across 11 music trade body boards are women. This figure drops to nine per cent when looking at the number of female Chairpersons.

The findings on ethnicity were even more shocking with zero per cent of CEOs are black women. Zero per cent of Chairpersons across the 11 music trade body boards are black women. Only three per cent of board members across 12 music trad body boards are black women, with five positions being held out of a possible 185 seats.

Women in CTRL conducted an analysis of the make-up of 12 of the key music trade organisations, including the Board of Directors, CEOs, Chairpersons and teams. This initial report focused on gender splits and the representation of black women within these organisations.

The findings are detailed within the full report available here.

Speaking about the report, Women in CTRL Founder, Nadia Khan, said, As I’ve progressed through my career in the music industry over the last 18 years I saw no representation of women or minorities within organisations at the top level and I found it perplexing how white men were making all the decisions as gate keepers on black music.”

“A lot of my work as a manager has been consumed with fighting against the uphill battle, through every hurdle and finding a way around every door that was closed for black artists in the music industry in live, TV, radio, record labels, and every other sector.”

“I value that there is now an interest in discussing diversity in the industry, and I see the many recent statements from organisations on how much of an importance diversity & inclusion is to them.”

“However, statements are not enough.”

“If we really want to really eradicate inequality in music then all organisations need to take accountability and make concrete action to increase representation of women in leadership roles, and diversity and inclusion within their organisations for minorities, in particular black women who are severely underrepresented.”

“Those organisations that prioritise advancing women and growing representation of minority voices will be the ones who lead the tide for the diversity.”

“Through WIC I want to work with organisations to engage in open conversations, agree deliverable targets to action change.”

“I hope that all the organisations in the report will publicly agree to the WIC diversity pledge.”

“It’s time for the music industry to proceed with purpose and offer a #SeatAtTheTable to women and minorities in the music industry.”

Women in CTRL asks all 12 trade organisations in this report to join the WIC Diversity pledge to work with us towards a commitment to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future.


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Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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