WOMAN proposed a partnership with the ACMs and TIME'S UP to share important messaging about safe and equitable workplaces and offer an opportunity for artists to wear the official TIME'S UP pin on the red carpet as a show of solidarity.
"Probably unsurprisingly, we have received a number of requests about how we can partner with upcoming industry events to address the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
As such, we reached out to TIME'S UP about the possibility of providing their official pins for the ACM red carpet and they responded quickly asking for the number needed and date of delivery. Ideally, we would like to work with you and the ACM staff directly to make these pins available as an option for artists and/or their teams to pick up with any official ACM materials/credentials.
We believe awards shows provide unique opportunities for artists to share important messages with the broader public. However, we recognize that your program is primarily focused on appreciating the music of the last year and the good contributed by the country music community as a whole. With that recognition, we feel a coordinated approach would be best.
We would like to offer the pins, along with a very brief information sheet as to the purpose of the Times Up campaign, as a joint venture between Times Up and the ACMs. That way, artists can opt in should they choose and be provided with further information on why this work is so important if they do, leaving the broader focus to remain on the mission of the Academy and the awards themselves.
Is that something you can help us facilitate?"
The ACMs extended an opportunity for TIME'S UP to submit talking points that would be shared at a pre-event party for publicists. Representatives for artists attend this party in Nashville prior to the awards show as a streamlined way to pick-up credentials and ensure they are properly prepared for press events.
TIME'S UP submitted the following critical information to be shared with the industry:
- TIME’S UP is a campaign led by women in the entertainment industry for men and women everywhere to ensure equality and safety in the workplace for everyone.
- We are committed to changing the culture of sexual harassment and power imbalance across all industries. TIME’S UP welcomes anyone who supports this mission.
- As musical artists, we use our voices to tell stories and tonight, we are proud to use our unified voice to carry this message of safety and equity. We wear the TIME’S UP pins as a symbol of our commitment to this campaign.
- This issue is very relevant to the music industry:
- 2017 was a 6-year low for female artists, only 16.8% of popular artists were women.*
- The gender ratio of male producers to female music producers is 49 to 1. Only 2 out of 651 producers were women of color.*
- Of 100 popular songs released in 2017, just 2% were produced by females*
- Just 22.4% of artists attached to the top 600 songs over the past six years were female.*
- A donation to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, will help individuals who face workplace sexual harassment connect with legal representation and public relations assistance. We encourage everyone to make a donation by going to www.gofundme.com/timesup. Any amount helps.
- For anyone new to this campaign: In only a couple of months, TIME’S UP has…
- Mobilized a group of very passionate women and men across industries to join forces to end culture a harassment and inequality.
- Established the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, chaired by Tina Tchen. Over 18,000 people from across the globe have already donated nearly $21 million—it’s been amazing to see this powerful show of solidarity. You can donate too. Go to www.gofundme.com/timesup.
- Received commitment from leaders in the entertainment industry to join and fund The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, chaired by Anita Hill.
- Received commitment from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders to achieve 5050by2020. This is a movement of women, people of color and LGBTQ members of the entertainment industry, advocating for leadership and hiring practices that reflect the reality of our audiences to inspire authentic content creation and safer workplaces by the end of this decade.
- TIME’S UP/Advertising was launched and consists of more than 150 women executives in leadership positions at advertising agencies across the United States. TIME’S UP/Advertising will aim to drive new policies, practices, decisions, and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse, and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment, and abuse; and create equitable and safe cultures within the advertising industry.
- TIME’S UP and PRESS FORWARD launched a joint partnership to combat sexual harassment in the news industry. The partnership supports members of the media who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or related retaliation in the workplace or while trying to advance their careers. The goal of this initiative is to create environments where journalists are empowered to do their best work and cultivate workplaces that are safe, fair and void of demeaning, traumatic and illegal behavior.
*Statistics from Dr. Stacy L. Smith as part of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative*
This messaging was shared with industry publicists along with an invitation for their artists to purchase an official TIME'S UP pin in support of the legal defense fund. Artists were encouraged to wear their pins on the red carpet and stand in solidarity with this important work.
WOMAN proposed a more inclusive agenda for the 2019 Country Radio Seminar. CRB's Agenda Committee plans to convene for meetings in mid-June and our hope is that they will thoughtfully consider the research gathered and carve out more meaningful ways for women to be involved in the 50th Anniversary event.
"In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, its predecessor in our own community, #Tomatogate, the Country Aircheck reporting on Radio, Record Reps, and Harassment, and Rolling Stone’s more recent Inside Country Radio's Dark, Secret History of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct, it is more important than ever that the leadership of country music begins carving out meaningful opportunities for the women in our business.
As your Agenda Committee, CRB’s Board of Directors, and staff begin preparing for the 2019 Country Radio Seminar, we ask that you take a small but significant step toward recognizing the women who have worked alongside all of us to grow the country music format. To ensure they are not merely tomatoes or tokens in the CRS salad, we respectfully ask you to take a new approach and include women prominently, at all levels throughout your event, so they are given the opportunity to share their expertise across all topics of general business.
At the CRS 2019 event, please consider dedicating one session time slot per day, perhaps in the 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. range, to an all-female lineup of presenters and/or panelists. To clarify, every session in an entire time slot, both days, would be allocated to giving female presenters and panelists an opportunity to lead.
The current culture of country music has often marginalized women and their roles in its success. In reviewing the CRS 2018 agenda, all-men or overwhelmingly male-led activities represented 71.5% of the schedule offerings. Forty percent of the events offering any form of female leadership focused on subjects that are often seen as special interest matters for women such as women’s mentoring, female artist showcases, or sexual harassment seminars. Women have been respectfully learning from men in the format during almost every session, panel, and performance set for much of CRS’s history. This status quo signifies an under-representation and under-utilization of women’s talent and serves to mute their unique voices in the exchange of ideas and business practices.
Committing one full time slot to female presenters sends a clear message that women are not optional to country music’s success. Women serve the country music format as program directors, music directors, marketing and sales directors, promotions directors, label executives, artists, producers, board members, and more. These time slots should not be dedicated to discussing topics of interest to women only. Instead, the women of country music should be given the opportunity to share their robust knowledge regarding the day-to-day work of this industry and the innovative and insightful ways they contribute to our format’s growth.
We hope you will take this groundbreaking step in 2019 and usher in a new, more inclusive standard for the women of music."
WOMAN created the following to support our request for more inclusion.
WOMAN is encouraging the leadership of country music's major companies to take an active role in cultivating a new approach to culture. Every company has a culture and it is the leadership that helps set the tone for whether that culture will be cautionary or conscious. To encourage the latter, we are launching our Conscious Country initiative as a way for leaders to help create a more positive, safe, and equitable workplace for all.
Leaders from country music's largest companies were asked to consider committing to the following simple 3-step process over the next year:
Publish your Corporate Code of Conduct Online
Identifying standards for how people can and should expect to be treated within a company cannot be considered optional or obsolete. A code of conduct is simply a sturdy foundation from which a more vibrant and conscious culture can be built. It is an initial investment into the protection and productivity of your workforce. A publicly available code of conduct shows an internal commitment from company leadership to truly value their employees and partners. It also serves as an external demonstration of how much the leadership of a company has invested in its own future success.
Encourage MORE LEADERS in the industry
As several codes of conduct are already circulating online among the biggest companies in the business, WOMAN was challenged to consider why there could still be such a struggle in implementation resulting in our very public parity problems. We believe one primary reason was that the words on the pages have not yet been elevated enough to become a tangible part of each company's culture. In our pursuit to ensure the women of country music have more marketshare, opportunities, resources, and equality, we have come to believe that the industry must first have more leaders who choose to embody the standards within their codes. We created the MORE LEADERS model (attached and available online) to offer simple steps leadership can take towards a more conscious culture.
Regularly review and refine the conscious culture
With more leaders working toward a better future, we ask that those who believe in a conscious culture regularly review and refine their approaches. The quality of a culture is preserved by its commitment to consistently review and continually refine itself. WOMAN asks that each executive who pledges their support of a more conscious country music community agree to provide an evaluation of their experiences by May 2019.
WOMAN created the MORE LEADERS model for consideration and to be used as a resource when implementing a more conscious culture.