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Female engineers discuss gender equality at new music business conference

The Future of Women in the Music Industry talk explored what moves need to be made to improve gender equality in the business

Industry professionals gathered at a London conference last week to discuss the future of women in the music industry.

The panel at the newly launched We Are Robots conference at the Old Truman Brewery had a particular focus on the electronic music sector.

The line-up comprised artist Chagall, Susie B of Help Musicians UK, Dr Mariana Lopez, Rachel Jepson from Counselling for Musicians, PRS for Music’s Stefania Pavlou, and music engineer and producer and MPG nominee* Marta Salogni.

Salogni said: “Not having role models definitely doesn’t help bring more women into the industry and by changing that it will change the strength that some of the women starting out in the industry have psychologically. When I started getting into engineering when I was 16, it was very hard for me to look up to someone who wasn’t a man because it was very hard to find a woman who was doing the job that I wanted to do.”

A UK Music Diversity Taskforce study into gender inequality published this year found that, at entry level, women slightly outnumber men in the music business. This is reduced at managerial level where males are more dominant at 52%. As seniority in the workforce increases, the number of women decreases.

Dr Mariana Lopez, lecturer and vice chair of the UK Audio Engineering Society (AES): “Gender equality is often talked about as something that benefits women, but actually it benefits everyone – it benefits men as well.

She added: “We ask our AES members in the UK to sign our United Nations HeForShe pledge for gender equality as we’re aspiring to become thematic champions for audio. It’s a first step. I hear so many people in private tell me how much they support gender equality, but they don’t speak up when it’s their turn. If we all work together, both men and women, to do it, we can make the industry so so much better.”

Check out our interview with producer Marta Salogni about her recent work on Bjork’s new album in the December issue of PSNEurope.