Women in the music industry are underpaid and discriminated against

Earlier this month, the Recording Academy (the organization that presents the annual Grammy Awards) released the Women in the Mix Study, which explores the experiences of women and gender-broad people in the music industry. The study was developed in collaboration with Arizona State University and the Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship to help create a more inclusive and equitable industry. However, the results show that there is still much to be done.

According to the study, women in the music industry work multiple jobs and long hours to make ends meet. More than half (57%) have two or more jobs, while 24% work between 40 and 51 hours a week, and a further 28% work more than 50 hours a week. In addition, 36% earn less than $40,000 per year.

In addition to being overworked and underpaid, the study reveals that women are severely underrepresented in the industry, accounting for 21.6% of artists, 12.6% of songwriters and just 2.6% producers.

Furthermore, the results, which surveyed more than 1,600 women, reveal that 84% of respondents experienced discrimination. Seventy-seven said they were treated differently because of their gender, while 60% said they faced ageism. Meanwhile, women of color reported the highest level of discomfort and job dissatisfaction. Gender-extended people were also less satisfied than CIS women by a 16% margin.

Valeisha Butterfield Jones, co-president of the Recording Academy

“The Women in the mix The study is a groundbreaking account of the realities and decisions we women working in music make publicly and privately every day,” said Recording Academy Co-Chair Valeisha Butterfield Jones. in a report. “By focusing this study on active listening, learning and creating solutions, we have provided the industry with valuable data on the barriers that affect women in music and how we can together take a stand. .”

Butterfield Jones, who was chosen to serve as the Academy’s first-ever director of diversity and inclusion in 2020 before being elevated to co-chair in June 2021, says one way to drive the change and equity requires action.

“You can’t change what you don’t measure,” she said. BLACK CORPORATE. She added that the Academy plans to take measurable steps to ensure that “women are safe, that we feel like we belong in these environments, but also that we have real equity and parity at all levels. levels”.

In addition to sharing their experiences, over 1,000 respondents provided suggestions for promoting progress and fairness in the music industry. The Academy, ASU, and Berklee used this data to offer several recommendations to the music industry to promote female representation. This includes recruitment pledges to hire diverse and strong candidates, paid internships, and soft skills development initiatives. Other recommendations include mentoring, grants and fundraising for advocacy groups to help level the playing field for women.

Additionally, to help address issues of access to resources and opportunities, the academy awarded $10,000 grants to the following organizations that support the growth of women and girls in music: Beats by Girlz, Femme It Forward, Girls Make Beats, She Is the Music, and Women’s Audio Mission.

During an Instagram Live interview with The Recording Academy, actress and trans activist Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez urged the music industry to prioritize women’s pay to create real change.

“It’s as simple as that. We work hard. And if we are overworked, we have to be paid for the overtime we do,” said the Laid star. “If you’re there and you’re equipped and qualified to do the job, then you should get the pay you deserve.”

Likewise, legendary musician Sheila E. took to Instagram Live to discuss how the Academy can make a difference and help amplify women in the music industry.

“Yeah, we’re overpaid, and we’re overworked, and in 2022 maybe now, as women, we’ll get paid…which we should have been getting a long time ago.” She added: “I think we are going in the right direction. I just feel like it’s so easy, just do the right thing.

Watch the exclusive interview with Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones on her mission to increase diversity and equity in the music industry and the upcoming Grammy Awards on The New Normal with Selena Hill.

Alice P. Darby