2019 Country Radio Seminar
WOMAN proposed a more inclusive agenda for the 2019 Country Radio Seminar. We asked CRB's Agenda Committee to thoughtfully consider the research we gathered and work 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."
Although we heard back from the Agenda Committee Chair that CRS had received and would consider our research and proposal, the 50th Anniversary event included few opportunities for women.
To their continued detriment, the following articles emerged regarding the event: