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How To Find The Right Community & Resources As Women in The Music Industry

Breaking ground as a woman in nearly any industry can be difficult; sadly the music industry is no different. Even though women are continually creating sweet tunes that top the charts, there are still issues of inclusivity and bias in front of and behind the scenes. Many studies have shown that even superstars like Rihanna and Ariana Grande mark the tip of the iceberg for women who are making it in the industry. Who knew that women in the music industry would have to work triple than usually expected.

A recent eye-opening study by Dr. Sarah L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, has been causing rumbling in the world of music. The study sheds light on the true gender gap in the business: women make up 22.4% of artists, 12.3% of songwriters, and 2% of producers. So where does this leave female artists looking to stake their claim and build their network? Even though the numbers can be disheartening they also present an opportunity for women to further break down the old boy’s club.

A part of being on the music journey whether you’re an emerging artist, songwriter, or audio engineer– is realizing you can’t do everything on your own. Being a woman in the music industry is hard work and is the number one piece of advice stars, like Jennifer Lopez and numerous industry professionals will point out when giving advice to emerging artists. Yet, hard work goes hand-in-hand with seeking out people and resources to help you grow.

Resources To Consider

  • Women In Music is a long-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources for women interested in pursuing a variety of careers in music. It’s a membership organization with chapters all over the world from Los Angeles to Brazil. The LA chapter, for example, offers seminars, meetups, and panels to take part in as a member.
  • If you are an artist living in the UK, Women Make Music offers a funding opportunity for songwriters and composers of varying genres. It’s one to keep on your radar if you have a project or dream and need an extra guidance to help you through. Be sure to visit the website for application details and more insights on programs for emerging artists.
  • GIRLSCHOOL is a music and ideas festival, heralded by the LA Times as “a vision of the way forward.” The festival is for women-identified artists and leaders to connect with and uplift one another in the Los Angeles music scene.
  • Music Outfitters shares a catalog of more resources for female artists, composers, and more.

Supportive communities are out there for women in the music industry. An important step in building your resources is seeking out opportunities–talking to other artists, surfing the web, or networking events. There are a number of resources and initiatives created by industry professionals and creatives to help women carve their path, so always do your research to find what works for you. The gender disparity in music has been widely felt for quite some time and in the wake of women raising their voices about inequality, doors are steadily opening for women in music.

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Kai McDaniel is a Los Angeles-based writer, lover of entertainment, art, and film.