A new report from the University of Southern California shows the huge disparity in the representation of female and non-binary artists and those working behind the scenes in the music industry, per The Guardian.
The annual report, titled Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, observes charts such as Billboard’s Hot 100 – marking the sixth instalment of the representation report noting differences between each year.
Last year, USC found that just 3.4% of the 232 producers on Billboard’s year-end list were women, while just one producer was non-binary.
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That number is down from 2019, which saw the highest peak of female and non-binary artists in the Billboard year-end list at 5%. “Until women and men artists hire women songwriters and producers the numbers will not move,” said report leader Dr Stacy L Smith in a statement.
“It’s more than just allowing an artist to credit themselves on a song, it’s about identifying talent and hiring women in these roles. That’s the only way that we will see change occur.”
The report also revealed that, while the number of women and non-binary producers in the year-end chart had dropped, a record high number of female artists came in 2022 at 30%.
“There is good news for women artists this year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – there is still much work to be done before we can say that women have equal opportunity in the music industry,” said Smith.
The report suggests that women are “stereotyped”, especially in terms of the “types of songs and genres that they can create, and the roles they can play”.
“They are sexualised, and their talents and experience are discounted,” the report reads. The Annenburg Inclusion Initiative is now encouraging those in the industry to hire more women and “honour that commitment”.
“Individuals who have made a commitment to hire women on their songs must honour that commitment – and, importantly, must do so on the songs that are likely to be released and reach audiences,” the report reads.
Find out more about the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative here.
[Via The Guardian]
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins