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Closing the gender gap: strategies for the music industry


This guide outlines strategies the music industry should look at to start closing the gender gap. The gender gap in music is a complex issue with no easy solutions, but there are strategies that can be implemented to increase the representation of women in the industry.

Welcome to the conversation about closing the gender gap in the music industry. Have you ever found yourself at a music festival and realized that most of the performers on stage are men? Or have you noticed how few female musicians are represented on the radio?  Ever thought of who the executives are that run ticketing, promotion and other music industry companies only to research and find mostly men?

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence, and the lack of representation for women in music is a problem that needs to be addressed. Sylvie, Australia Operations Manager, at Tixel is no stranger to this experience.  The Music Network’s 30 under 30 award winner says early in her career “it was a total boys club, I didn’t work with another woman for years, all my colleagues were men.” 

But the good news is, things are improving and there are several strategies that can be implemented to continue to increase the representation of women in music. Sylvie says “now I have fantastic mentors (both male and female) and I have been very intentional in choosing who I do and don’t work with, I love what I do and have achieved great things.”  Sylvie is confident, “there is a shift where many of the leaders of the past are now moving on and there’s a fresh tide coming.” 

According to Sylvie there “is still a way to go in attracting women to this industry,” it starts with initiatives like mentorship and networking to advocacy and education. 

Closing the gender gap in music

There are multiple ways we can work together to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for female musicians and other women in the industry. In this article, we will discuss these strategies in more detail and explore how we can all play a role in closing the gender gap in music. 

Increase leadership roles for women

The first important strategy is to increase the number of women in leadership roles. This includes hiring more female executives, managers, agents, and producers, and promoting women within companies. Research has shown that organizations with a higher number of women in leadership positions tend to have more gender-balanced teams. This increased representation of women in leadership roles can also lead to a more inclusive culture that encourages female artists and industry professionals to succeed.

Create more performance opportunities for women

Another strategy for increasing the representation of women in music is to provide more opportunities for female musicians to perform. This can be achieved by organizing festivals and events that feature primarily female performers, or by booking more female acts at venues and clubs. Risen, which takes place in London, is a perfect example.  In 2022 90 artists performed, all of whom were women, transgender and non-binary.  This not only provides a platform for female musicians to showcase their talent but also helps to promote and raise the visibility of female musicians in the industry.

Invest in education

Knowledge is power, it’s time to invest in the education and training of female musicians. This includes providing funding for music programs at schools and universities that actively seek out and support female students. It also includes offering mentorship and apprenticeship programs for female musicians to learn from established industry professionals. This not only helps to increase the number of female musicians in the industry but also ensures that they have the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.

Address structural barriers

It is also important to address the structural barriers that can prevent women from entering and thriving in the music industry. This includes issues like the lack of affordable child care, the lack of flexible work arrangements, and the gender pay gap. By addressing these structural barriers, more women will be able to pursue careers in music and have the opportunity to succeed.  Sylvie emphasizes this point that “once [women] are employed, ensuring the right support is in place to protect and empower them,” is essential.

Build platforms that amplify women’s voices

Another strategy is to promote and amplify the voices of female musicians and industry professionals.  Groups like the WIP project are bringing together “female, non-binary and gender non-conforming dance music up and comers and industry professionals” to become a platform that amplifies the voices of a diverse set of artists. 

This includes encouraging media outlets to feature female musicians in their coverage, and creating platforms to showcase the work of female artists and industry professionals. It also includes creating opportunities for female musicians to speak out about the challenges they face in the industry and the changes that need to be made. This can help to raise awareness of the issues and mobilize support for change.


Ultimately, it’s essential to recognize that the lack of representation of women in the music industry is an intersectional issue. The struggles and barriers faced by cisgender white women will be different from that of trans women, women of color, indigenous women, and other marginalized groups. Therefore, it is important to actively seek out and support musicians and industry professionals from diverse backgrounds and to provide them with opportunities and resources to succeed. 

Sylvie recognizes that her experience of breaking into “the boys club” was because of many privileges she had growing up but she wants to keep the doors open for other women and non-binary people to break into the industry through supporting initiatives that create better access like the ones listed above.

In conclusion, the gender gap in the music industry is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a multifaceted solution. Increasing the representation of women in leadership roles, providing more opportunities for female musicians to perform, investing in the education and training of female musicians, addressing structural barriers and promoting and amplifying the voices of female musicians and industry professionals, are steps towards closing the gender gap and creating a more inclusive and equitable industry for everyone. 

Sylvie says to all the emerging women in music, “keep at it, seek out mentors, pick people’s brains on how they got where they are, get amongst it and attend events.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, look out for yourself when something doesn’t feel right and try to work out what you’re passionate about.”  Get out and make some music!

Photo by mikoto.raw Photographer

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