WHAT DO WE
According to Forbes, in recent years, "The average number of women appearing on any single chart is three. When factoring in chart positions, and the extra spins songs at the top of the chart get compared to those lower down, female voices account for less than 10% of all charted songs..."
For women to be successful in this industry moving forward, they need to increase their share of the country music market. This doesn't happen just by being the most talented, most beautiful, most personable, or most witty woman on the stage. Women need to be heard, helped, and hired in the same ways as their male counterparts.
Women in music don't want a hand out. They aren't looking for favors. They don't want special treatment. They want the same opportunities any other artist would want and need to be successful: airplay, tour spots, award campaigns, creative credits, and media moments.
Women grace the cover of magazines nationwide but struggle to headline major tours. They visit morning shows from coast-to-coast but can't seem to get consistent radio airplay. Audiences can't attend concerts that don't exists. They can't love songs they never hear. Women need more opportunities to be heard and valued.
The bottom line is that the women of music often find themselves fighting uphill battles. Up-and-comers can't overcome the legal struggles they encounter in a system rigged in favor of the richest man. Bad contracts, mismanagement, sexual misconduct, civil suits, and more common than anyone wants to admit. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to navigate and negotiate your way through this business. If things starts to go south, how can a newcomer outspend the company responsible for writing their checks?
Women frequently find themselves on losing this financial equation. All artists come to this business to chase a dream. When that dream turns into a nightmare, resources are needed to help guide them through the next steps.
Women of music will continue to struggle to achieve more marketshare, opportunities, and resources as long as they encounter persistent, pervasive inequality. As it stands, the charts are completely dominated by male acts, festival and headlining spots are predominantly given to men or mixed-gender groups, radio play and promotion favors males over females, women are underestimated and under-represented, and the list goes on. Making matters worse, female artists are more likely to encounter gender discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse, ageism, and general sexism. Women are in this business to work. They have the talent to be successful. They’re lacking a system that is ready to support them.
It is not enough to be aware of the problem. We must take actions to make music more equal.