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  • Writer's pictureHannah Kapff

‘Moving The Needle’ for Women in the Music Industry

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

International Women’s Day 2021 commemorated the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women around the world, so we chose 8th March to launch a new organisation – Moving The Needle which was formed to bring gender equality to the UK’s music industry. MTN is an educational support group founded with our help by a group of influential women who’ve reached ‘the top’ of the industry, and who have come together to ‘give back’. This year’s IWD theme was #ChooseToChallenge, and it suited these women down to the ground, for reasons we will come onto…

The state of any creative industry in terms of its openness to ‘equal opportunities for all’ can be seen very clearly through the awards they give out, and the music industry is no exception: The Guardian reported on 11th May, 2021 that over half of the BRIT awards winners in mixed-gender categories have been male since the start of this century. So, we were thrilled to see the six out of seven BRIT winners were female in May 2021. That’s one small step for the music industry, one giant leap for womankind – as witnessed via YouTube here!

Fortunately, the ‘build back better’ message of 2021 it seems to have be reaching the music industry, and we were proud to secure news about the launch of MTN on the global media stage, as well as in national news and trade publications: BBC World News TV, BBC World Service radio, Music Week, CMU, Record of the Day, Music Ally, TPI Magazine, The Successful Founder, Meet The Leader, Attack Magazine, Classical Music, Music Teacher Magazine, and With Guitars.

Alongside our media relations work, we’ve been supporting MTN by securing speaker opportunities, with social media content and management, and help with marketing activities, including writing articles with its team. For instance, the ‘MTN x Gigwise’ fortnightly column shares personal stories and interviews from the MTN board alongside various news and events. View the first column here which includes tips and inspirational snippets from MTN’s board members such as the Managing Director of Positive Subversion, Siofra McComb, who cautions…

“Working in music tends to blur the lines between your social life and work life, and it’s tempting to work long hours and check your emails on your phone all the time. However, you have to give yourself the time and space to step away from your work, however difficult that might be. Mental illness is a real issue in the industry, and part of the problem is that we believe we have to be ‘on’ all the time. This is a job, just like any other, and you deserve to be able to get away from that.”

MTN’s impressive Board is listed here:-

  • Karen Emanuel CEO, Key Production Group

  • Silvia Montello Founder & CEO, VoiceBox Consulting; Co-Founder & Director, #remarQabl

  • Jenni Cochrane – Co-Founder & CEO, Getahead, Founder of Work Inspired

  • Siofra McComb – MD, Positive Subversion

  • Julie Weir – Label Head, Music for Nations, Sony Music

  • Jen Otter Bickerdike – Author, New Course Devt & Support Manager, BIMM Institute

  • Eve Horne – Director, Peak Music

  • Gill Massey -People Operations Manager, Full Fact

  • Victoria Head of Legal, Twitter UK

  • Mary Rose – CEO, NEKO Trust

There is so much more to do… Why? Because the structures of the UK music industry still favour men. Indeed, the UK Music Diversity Report reported that only a third of senior management roles are held by women. Likewise, A Seat At The Table, reported that only 2% of senior roles are held by black women (denoted as African or Afro-Caribbean). Furthermore, women earn just 73% of what men are paid in the industry.

MTN’s vision is to resolve these issues one by one, and create a brighter path for young women starting out in UK Music by closing the gender pay gap, see women holding 50% of the industry’s senior management roles, and witness women staying in the industry beyond the age of 45. It is easy for people outside of this industry not to know that behind every woman holding a microphone is a plethora of people working hard to get them access to the spotlight or Spotify plays. There are hundreds of roles in the industry, and women should be able to access ALL of them – be it a roadie, music producer, composer, music rights experts, legal counsel or CEO.

Source: UK Music

MTN is encouraging people from all ethnicities, backgrounds and personalities to enter the wide range of careers available in the UK music industry by supporting women in all types of jobs within the UK music industry to reach their full potential.

Support will come via the MTN’s leadership programme, which will consist of mentoring and training via workshops, panels and debates, with a focus on building vital career skills, such as how to network and negotiate. Curious PR is proud to support Moving The Needle in defining its mission and vision, and to provide PR, marketing and communications, and generally find opportunities to support this group of seriously impressive women who are giving their time for free – for the next generation and women working hard to reach their full potential in UK Music!

If you’d like to find out more about Moving The Needle, hear how you can support or learn more, or just to sign up for more newsletters, please visit | Instagram: | Facebook: | Twitter: @MTNnow | LinkedIn: @Mtnnow

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