The Gender Gap In Music

Is the music industry sexist?

This is the question posed by Kirsty Brown in an article published on the Women’s Agenda website. Discussing how the ARIA’s only have 18 female nominations out of 27 categories excluding the best international artists sector. How is it that in 2013 there is so little representation of women being nominated for accolades in the music industry?

‘So while the ARIA Awards shine a light on the discrepancy between male and female performing artists, they also reflect a broader industry in which women are still dramatically under-represented in crucial, taste-making roles.’

Brown discusses how this gap continues in most areas of the music industry with music producing roles being the most under represented. In terms of air time female artists receive, I was not surprised to learn that international pop acts are dominating. However it was the indie scene that took me by surprise. With males dominating 71% of the airwaves on alternative radio station Triple J, it’s not hard to see how females aren’t getting ARIA nominations.

Solutions to these problems that Brown brings up include quotas of female content, and more industry bodies representing women. But will this fix the problem or just create more? Quotas could lead to resentment, and accusations that women are only getting the airtime because of a requirement rather than talent. Like Brown I think they just need to recognise and address the problem.

‘I genuinely do not think it is that hard for the industry to look beyond using the same men for every conference, award ceremony, radio playlist and event.’

There are so many talented women in the music industry, and it’s about time they were recognised with awards, promotions, and air time.¬†At least discussing the issue with cold hard facts will get the conversation started.

Are you a woman working in a male dominated music industry like music, and want to know what your what your wage would be like if you were a man? Check out this pay gap calculator on Women’s Agenda:

Do you have any ideas on how to help fix this gender gap in the music industry?



3 thoughts on “The Gender Gap In Music

  1. vicbriggs

    Very interesting article. I was unaware of many of the issues you raised, and am very curious to find out more. In particular regarding women producers, do you know of a well researched article that looks at the causes of this underrepresentation?
    Thank you.

    1. Rocheen Post author

      Hi Viki

      We were surprised by the statistics too.

      The original article that I quote was originally published in Crikey, a well known independent Australian online publication that is quite reputable.

      Otherwise this article by the Huffington Post has some good points. It’s written by Lara Baker who is a manager at AIM.


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