Study shows alarming gender disparity in U.K. music

Sweeney Gloria

By Sweeney Gloria

Sweeney Gloria

1 Oct 2020

The headline issue of recent findings in U.K music is the doing of Nadia Khan, founder of Women in CTRL. Her mission seeks to advance the careers of women working in arts and creative industries.

Until the unfiltered figures met the public eye, we couldn’t have known the extremities. The uncomfortable truths uncovered in the Gender Disparity Data report, conducted by Nadia, have to be confronted and the question worth asking is: What is, in fact, the cause of the gender disparity in the UK’s music industry? Could it be the power of the audience or are institutions stuck in an old rhythm? Some ask if it’s really about gender or, rather, just about numbers?

The nature of the music business is anchored in satisfying the consumer’s needs. Traditionally, the major audience must create enough of a demand for an artist or catalogue and, in turn, music institutions quench their thirst by supplying exactly what is asked for. It’s hard to find a solid answer.

The study that exposed the gender imbalance plans a follow-up report next year.

The percentage of women working in executive positions are considerably low, thus allowing room for non-inclusive decisions; this has shown up in the data. The founder revealed, “As highlighted in the Women in CTRL report, the disparity still runs high for women and especially black women.”

When you take a look at the landscape of live shows, festival line-ups and award nominations, the gender disparity is parallel to that of the radio figures published in the report. Within a growing scene in U.K music, female talents who are featured across music publications are not aired to wider audiences in the same way as their male counterparts – with men making up 81% of the entries in the top 100 Airplay Chart 2020.

View the full report by music manager, Nadia Khan, and music consultant, Linda Coogan Byrne, here!