Reports Music

BE THE CHANGE Gender equity in music

Report by Hanna Kahlert, Tatiana Cirisano, Sophia Oleksiyenko, Ashleigh Millar, Sam Griffin and Kazia Rothwell


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Cover image for BE THE CHANGE

20,000 foot view: In many ways, women ruled the music industry in 2023. Women swept the 2024 Grammy Awards, winning all the “big four” categories. Taylor Swift and Beyoncé completed record-breaking tours and, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the share of women artists on Billboard’s US Hot 100 year-end chart reached a 12-year high of 35%. Initiatives to drive positive change are having a real impact. Women in CTRL’s Seat at the Table 2024 report found that women and non-binary individuals occupied 52% of board seats across 11 UK music industry trade bodies, up from 32% in 2020. More than 650 global music festivals and organizations have now signed the Keychange pledge to achieve gender equity and diversity through self-determined goals within their scope of work.

These milestones are cause for celebration. Equally, much work remains to be done. Inequities persist, especially behind the scenes (e.g., no woman has yet won the Grammy Award for non-classical producer of the year). Moreover, cisgender women have fundamentally different experiences to gender expansive individuals, and intersecting factors, such as race / ethnicity and sexual orientation, are also proven to compound inequalities.

The depth of these nuances is demonstrated in the fourth annual edition of BE THE CHANGE: Gender equity in music. This report takes an intersectional approach, mapping the impacts of overlapping forms of discrimination in the music industry. Our global survey, translated into 14 languages, collates the views of 4,146 respondents across 133 countries — our largest sample ever. Of those respondents, 3,461 identified as creators and 907 as professionals (some chose both). We also conducted eight in-depth 1:1 interviews with women and gender expansive creators in the US, South Africa, France, Mexico, and India, where we learned about their first-hand experiences navigating the industry.

Key data and insights included in this report:

  • Career setbacks experienced by males, females and gender expansive individuals
  • Analysis of experienced and witnessed behaviours in the music industry, including reporting of these behaviours
  • Women and gender expansive individuals trust in leaders and initiatives driving positive
  • Response comparison of music creators and music professionals
  • Analysis of key regions in the study including Europe and North America

All survey data is based on TuneCore’s 2024 Be The Change: Gender Equity in Music global survey, with respondents across 133 countries.

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