Why Award Shows like “Women in Music” Need to Exist

by Gwen Berumen

Music Week, UK Music, The Association of Independent Music (AIM), and Nordoff Robbins have teamed up to launch a new Women In Music event, an award ceremony to honor and reward some of the top female artists in the music industry.

According to Music Week, “The event will recognise the 30 most influential women executives from all sectors of the UK business, whilst also giving individual awards in five special categories: Outstanding Achievement, Media Pioneer, Creative Inspiration (the only category open to artists), Rising Star and Campaigner.”

Considering the devastating stats out by Deborah Coughlin from The Guardian, it is clearer than ever that events like these are necessary. For example, Coughlin informs us that 47% of women in music earn under $14,000 a year, compared to only 35% of men. As for the acclaimed NME awards this year, Blondie’s win for the Godlike Genius award was only the THIRD ever for a woman- not to mention that a solo female artists has never won. 

In regard to other aspects of the industry, Coughlin reminds us that women only have a 15% chance of owning a label or becoming a manager.

Lately, there has been no shortage of sexist and misogynistic controversies among female musicians. Coughlin references public statements such as Grimes Tumblr post about how men treat her, when Chvrches told us about all of the disgusting emails they receive, and when Charlotte Church publicly denounced the need for hypersexualization in pop music.

Check out these BUST stories about what Kimbra, Neko Case, and Potty Mouth have gone through.

And just because there are a lot of really successful female musicians and performers, it does little to discredit the need for something like female-only music awards. Misogyny, discrimination, racism, stereotyping and sexism exists in every genre of music, and the women who prevail despite these unrelenting obstacles deserve to be recognized and celebrated. 

Armed with all of this information, it’s preposterous to think that people are responding with ridiculous arguments such as, “well this is segregation!” That is not only laughable but ignorant of what the real problem is, namely that women are achieving huge success in music sales and they aren’t getting proper recognition. Or the fact that there are many talented managers and producers in the music business but they aren’t getting jobs.

These types of female-only events are necessary because without them, these hardworking women wouldn’t receive anywhere close to the amount of respect and recognition they deserve.

“Women in Music” is taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, on Friday, November 14th. Additionally, you can nominate a colleague (or yourself), by emailing a brief commendation to womeninmusic@intentmedia.co.uk


Photos via our Apr/May 2013 issue and Chvrches’ Facebook page. 

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