Happy International Women’s day!
To celebrate it, we’ve compiled a list of organisations that support Women In Music (WIM) and work towards better representation, bigger visibility and more equality for female creators in the music industry.
The article is another piece of content with which we hope to contribute to a change in the currently male-dominated music industry. Last year, we launched a new initiative meant to raise more awareness on the lack of representation and visibility of women in certain areas of the music industry.
Since the start of the initiative, we’ve been meeting you with plenty of talented music producers, rappers and other female creatives who have a lot to share regarding their position and experience in the music industry. Inspired by our desire to make a step towards a positive change, we’ve published song features, as well as interviews, eg. with Forty Cats, I.M YONI, Adeline, Jeia, Gnarly; we've also conducted research on female producers and the gender pay gap in the music industry, which we've also discussed with Vick Bain in our Fox Tales podcast. In addition, we’ve been curating the Beat Queens playlist focused on chillhop/lofi music by female producers.
Now we want to pay attention to the work of several organizations that support Women In Music, contributing to the positive change, regarding the way female creators are perceived in certain rather male-dominated spheres of the music industry. In this article, you’ll discover and get to know some of these organizations, learn about their activities and find the one which might be of help to you, in case you happen to be a female/non-binary music artist.
Most of them are NGOs, often run by women or non-binary people. Some of them support female producers in particular, offer courses or various other educational and networking opportunities. Some of them unite female/non-binary music industry professionals from all walks of life or simply focus on a certain area of the music industry like live performing. All of them aim to showcase and develop female talents while establishing networks and communities, contributing to a better environment for less represented individuals to express themselves and thrive.
Shesaid.so is a global independent community of women and gender minorities from all sectors of the music industry: from record labels, artist management companies, and booking agencies, through to technology platforms, creative agencies, composers, artists and more.
- founded in London, 2014, by Andreea Magdalina
- currently has 18 local chapters including London, LA, NYC, France, Italy, and Mumbai
- member count: 12,000
- organizes panels and interactive events to discuss industry matters;
- showcases talented female artists on their radio, Spotify playlist and their SSSO Mix series;
- celebrates The New Creative Economy and challenges the industry’s outdated systemic framework with their Alternative Power 100 Music List;
- works towards increasing the number of women who progress in their careers with their mentoring program she.grows;
- establishes brand partnerships for raising awareness;
- offers membership;
- shares job opportunities in their Job portal.
Mission: To connect and empower underrepresented communities towards a more equitable music industry for all, one woman or gender minority at a time. We are unwavering in our intersectional approach to women’s rights and we urge the entire music community to adopt a similar outlook.
2. She Is The Music
She is the music an independent, global network that operates as a unifying organization for women from across the industry, creating strength and impact on a global scale. A first-of-its-kind collaboration spanning the music industry, SITM is powered by creators, publishers, record labels, talent agencies, industry groups, media companies, streaming services, and more.
- founded by Alicia Keys and Ann Mincieli
- has a database for female creators you can join
- provides resources and support for women-focused initiatives that are working to create meaningful change – both through their own programs, as well as external efforts around the world.
- hosts writing camps, bringing women recording artists, songwriters and publishers from across the industry together;
- provides mentorship
- shares job opportunities
Mission: To increase the number of women working in music – songwriters, engineers, producers, artists and industry professionals. To serve women in the industry today with their initiatives while fostering the development of future generations. To create a change for women and build an equal future for music.
3. Women in Music
Women In Music is a non-profit organization that has grown to encompass 25+ chapters across the globe. WIM’s community members include record label executives, music-tech entrepreneurs, artist managers, songwriters, musicians, attorneys, recording engineers, agents, publicists, studio owners, music publishers, marketers and more.
- founded in 1985 in New York City
- offers membership with access to WIM’s educational, career development, and networking resources, as well as the opportunity to find community in a global Women in Music family; you can even request a new chapter in your own city;
- hosts events for members and non-members
- showcases female creators on Spotify
- offers volunteer opportunities
Mission: To advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition.
Audiofemme is a music and culture blog, based in New York. It exists since 2012 and aims to provide a platform for female and non-binary creators.
- supports creators with their Agenda Artist Grant
- showcases music by female/ non-binary creators through reviews, interviews, special premieres
- showcases the work of women and non-binary music journalists
Mission: To uplift the voices of female and non-binary music writers in an industry dominated by male viewpoints, and to approach music and culture criticism from an intersectional feminist perspective.
5. Music Production for Women
Music production for women (MPW) is a global movement, community and online education platform which aims to encourage and empower women who are taking their first steps into music production.
- founded in 2019 in London by artist and producer Xylo Aria.
- runs periodic music production workshops throughout the UK, Europe and virtually in conjunction with local music organisations and studios
- offers an Introduction to Music Production online course as well as a free online intro to music production masterclasses
- offers a membership for female music producers
- has a podcast about production techniques, gear and other related topics
Mission: To instil confidence in any woman interested in approaching music production and to empower her to take the first steps with the backing of our full community.
6. Women’s Audio Mission
Women’s Audio Mission is a San Francisco/Oakland-based nonprofit organization and the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women/GNC individuals. It attracts over 2,000 underserved women/girls/GNC individuals every year to STEM and creative technology studies that inspire them to amplify their voices and become the innovators of tomorrow. WAM’s award-winning curriculum weaves art and music with science, technology and computer programming and works to close the critical gender gap in creative technology careers.
- founded WAM in 2003 by Terri Winston - a songwriter, composer, recording engineer, and producer, as well as a Professor and Director of the Sound Recording Arts Program at City College of San Francisco (2001-2011)
- shares educational videos on its Youtube channel that focus on music and audio technology
- organises conferences on the recording arts
- provides training in professional audio and the recording arts for adults
- offers online training courses
- offers free creative technology and digital media production training as part of their program Girls on the Mic - an after-school training and mentoring program serving San Francisco Bay Area girls and gender-expansive youth ages 11-18 from under-resourced communities.
- showcases female and gender non-conforming musicians and performers, representative of the diverse communities of the Bay Area on their performance series Local Sirens
- offers membership
Mission: To change the face of sound by providing hands-on training, work experience, career counselling, and job placement to women and girls in creative technology for music, radio, film, television, and the internet.
SoundGirls exists to provide a support network for women and non-binary people working in the professional audio industry and to assist those with a drive to be successful in audio. SoundGirls is not restricted to women only and is open to anyone who has a desire and drive to succeed in professional audio. The ratio of women to men members is approximately 65% women and 35% men. SoundGirls welcomes all genders and non-binary people.
- has chapters in the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Netherlands and Bulgaria
- offers a free membership, which grants access to discounts, exclusive events, panels, workshops, job resources, networking opportunties, and more.
- has a podcast with audio professionals from all walks of life
- organizes educational events and conferences
- offers info about jobs and internships
- offers mentoring
- provides info on Women and BIPOC Industry Directories, including Spotify’s EQUAL (Spotify partnered with SoundGirls to create The EQUAL Directory)
- showcases women in audio on their website
Mission: To inspire and empower the next generation of women in audio; to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers.
8. We Are Moving The Needle
We are moving the needle is a nonprofit organization supporting all women recording industry professionals, audio engineers and producers. The organization provides resources and support both to those at the very start of their education as well as those currently in their recording and production careers battling the overwhelmingly male-dominated landscape of the industry.
- founded by GRAMMY winning and 8x nominated mastering engineer, Emily Lazar
- provides scholarships and grants to music technology and recording programs at Academies, Colleges and Universities, eg. their scholarship to the The Blackbird Academy for Audio Engineering.
- donates recording equipment including software, hardware and other technologies
- offers mentorship to their members
Mission: To close the gender gap and bring equity and inclusion to the present recording industry as well as guarantee growth and progress for the generations to come.
9. The Women’s International Music Network
The Women’s International Music Network works to expose role models, events and educational opportunities that focus on women in music while creating opportunities for performance and networking.
- founded in 2012 by Laura B. Whitmore, singer-songwriter and a veteran marketer of the musical instrument and audio industries
- hosts interviews, news, events, and a community forum for women from all walks of the industry.
- has a Podcast, She Rocks, featuring interviews with women in music
- showcases female/non-binary creators
- shares news about female musicians, projects relating to women in the industry, products targeted to female musicians
Mission: Bring the conversation around diversity in the industry into the forefront and create a hub to connect women in all facets of the music industry.
10. Women Produce Music
Women Produce Music is a non-profit organisation that enables female composers and producers to network and collaborate.
- founded as an online international network in 2015 by composer and multi-instrumentalist music producer Katia Isakoff
- conducts research
- provides opportunities for collaboration through the series IN_KoLAB, launched in 2019 and bringing together pioneering, established and emerging artists and composer-producers to collaborate in various studios and pop-up locations.
Mission: To build a global network – one album and city at a time, opening doors to industry’s commercial possibilities and providing career progression opportunities through women-led networks, innovation art and technology.
Supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Keychange is a global network and movement working towards a total restructuring of the music industry in reaching full gender equality. It invests in emerging talent whilst encouraging music organisations to sign up to a gender balance pledge. Keychange is an extensive programme of career development for women and gender minority artists and industry innovators. Keychange helps all participants progress to the main stages and leading positions in the industry.
- began in 2017 as a European talent development programme for emerging artists and innovators, founded by Vanessa Reed, led by PRS Foundation, and managed by Jess Partridge in Phase One
- announced a new phase in 2019 with new project leads Reeperbahn Festival, funded by Creative Europe. Keychange 2.0 will support 222 participants 2019-2024, selected through an open call process
- showcases talents on their website
- takes part/organizes events related to the music industry and closing the gender gap
Mission: To create sustainable change in the music industry and to show that it is possible for festivals and any music organisation to successfully achieve balance.
12. Femme House
Femme House is an NGO that fosters more equitable opportunities for women and gender-expansive individuals in the technical and behind the scenes areas of music. They strive to create the future producers, mixers, engineers, DJs, artists, and executives of the industry by providing education and scholarships, cultivating community, propagating visual representation, and offering professional development opportunities.
- founded in 2019 by LP GIOBBI and Lauren A. Spalding
- offers free workshops on everything from music production to DJing,
- has a weekly radio show on SiriusXM’s Diplo’s Revolution highlighting the best of dance music
- has a bi-yearly scholarship program for BIPOC creators
- showcases female and gender-expansive talent.
- does ‘tour workshops’- workshops on how to produce on Ableton followed by a club music show
- organizes a free production bootcamp, She Is The Producer, created in partnership with She Is The Music and We Are Moving The Needle
- maintains an online academy featuring comprehensive online courses on music production
Mission: To affect change on a systemic, industry-wide level by tearing down as many barriers to entry as possible.
Saffron is a music tech NGO, taking an intersectional approach to redressing the gender imbalance in the industry. The majority of Saffron’s courses and workshops are solely intended for cisgender women, non-binary people, trans (man or woman) and gender non-conforming folks to attend. A key aspect of their work is striving to reach those who may not already have access financially to partake in music tech, so a portion of all their activities is completely free or pay-what-you-can.
Saffron works with a diverse array of professionals and their staff and tutors have decades of experience in the music industry, community building and alternative education. Renowned artists, broadcasters and sound engineers have hosted workshops with them, including the likes of Jamz Supernova, KeiyaA, Shura, Lady Leshurr, Hannah Peel and Marta Salogni.
- founded in Bristol, UK in 2015 by Laura Lewis-Paul,
- primarily offers training in music production, sound engineering and DJing,
- runs an artist development programme and record label
- offers membership - Half of all Saffron Members are paid subscribers and half receive free memberships
Mission: To advance gender equality in the music tech sector by creating a safe space for women, non-binary people and other minority genders to learn and build confidence. They want to inhabit traditionally male-dominated music tech spaces and become visible role models for others.
14. Girls Rock Camp Alliance
Girls Rock Camp Alliance is an international membership network of youth-centered arts and social justice organizations. They provide resources and space for community building to their members in order to build a strong movement for collective liberation. The GRCA movement is made up of organizations across the world, all working from different backgrounds and contexts towards an intersectional feminist future.
- there are currently over 100 member organizations, and the Girls Rock Camp Alliance is itself an independent non-profit registered in the United States
- The organisations could offer courses, practice space, gear mentorship and opportunities for networking and collaborating. They promote an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and teamwork.
Mission: To amplify voices that have otherwise been told to be silent. To dismantle intersecting systems of oppression and acknowledge that they do not affect us all equally. To empower young girls/non-binary individuals and enable them to learn and express themselves through music and arts.
15. Girls Make Beats
Girls Make Beats is a nonprofit organization that empowers girls by expanding the female presence of music producers, DJs, and audio engineers. GMB works with girls ages 5-17 and has strategically partnered with industry titans, music industry professionals, and educational institutes to create unparalleled opportunities for the children in the program. It also provides girls with an opportunity to unite and collaborate within the music industry.
- founded in 2012 by certified audio engineer, Tiffany "Delilah" Miranda.
- hosts educational seminars, summer camps, industry panels, and other events.
- helps girls further their careers as music producers, DJs, and audio engineers by providing courses on industry-leading hardware and software.
- offers online classes and masterclasses
- highlights young talents their You Glow Girl Youtube series
- has a podcast - a fun safe space for young girls to discuss topics relevant to them such as: music, school, fashion, creativity etc.
Mission: To create real-world opportunities for girls to break barriers in the music industry.
Apart from the 15 organisations enlisted above, you can find more in the database we put together in order to spread the word about many more similar organisations and initiatives. Whether you are a producer, singer, instrumentalist or classical composer - this database might help you find the right organisation and community which will support you in your career journey or help you start it. You don’t need to do it all alone!
In case you want to contribute to the database by suggesting more organisations, feel free to contact us.