2018 has proven to be a year where women in music are gracefully taking the spotlight. With Janelle Monae speaking out about her identity and Cardi B becoming a national sensation in a year, there is a lot to look forward to from women rising up in the industry.
But despite this, there are still many discrepancies when it comes to representation and opportunities for women in music. This has been already something highlighted about the industry for a long time, as a recent study of 2017 shows that women comprise only 22%, 12% or songwriters and a dismal 2% of producers.
With the recent uproar over the Grammy Awards having low representation of female artists, many are now demanding for there to be more efforts for women to be included in music. The task force will be in charge of addressing gender bias and the barriers for women in music and how there can be better efforts put in place to help the advancement of women in music.
The Recording Academy recently announced Tina Tchen, a co-founder of the #MeToo Movement and former Obama Administration official as the chair for the task force. Tchen has been delegating and discussing with members of the music community to create a cohesive and representative task force. The official list of names on the task force has been released, which include creators, executives, academics as well as experts in gender equality:
- Stephanie Alexa, vice president of finance and licensing administration, ATO Records
- Michele Anthony, executive vice president and executive management board member, Universal Music Group
- Cam, Grammy-nominated artist
- Common, Grammy-winning artist
- Sheryl Crow, Grammy-winning artist
- Andra Day, Grammy-nominated artist
- Giselle Fernandez, award-winning television journalist
- Jimmy Jam, Grammy-winning artist
- Beth Laird, CEO and co-owner, Creative Nation
- Debra Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks
- Rebeca Leon, co-founder and CEO, Lionfish Entertainment
- Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP
- Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
- Ty Stiklorius, founder and CEO, Friends At Work
- Julie Swidler, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel, Sony Music
- Dean Wilson, CEO, SEVEN20
All members are volunteering their time and expertise and are not employed by the Recording Academy Board.
“I’m honored to lead such an esteemed group of visionaries who possess the experience and passion needed to drive real change in building a more inclusive and equitable music community,” said Tchen in the announcement. “This is an important first step made possible by the Recording Academy’s leadership, which recognizes the benefit of examining these issues with fresh eyes.”
As a formal first initiative, the task force is asking for feedback from the public for the group to consider and review.