As we celebrate women around the globe for International Women’s Day next week, we’re also shining a light on the best ways to support women-identifying artists in the music industry. While it hasn’t always been the kindest or most accepting industry for women (to put it lightly), we’re proud to be a small part of the change that is making it a better, more equitable place. As music lovers, we’re thrilled to see more and more women headline festival lineups, sweep award shows, and have a voice in recording studios. Here are some of the changes and priorities we can all hold each other to on International Women’s Day and every day:
Let’s all put our money where our mouths are — in the US, women in the music industry make $20,000 less annually than their male peers. Equal pay is a big step towards equal rights.
Get it? 👏 Got it. 👏 Good. 👏
A recent string of documentaries showcasing the lives of pop legends like Beyonce and Taylor Swift have illustrated the often extreme and unhealthy trend of asking even the most successful female artists to fit into thin, crowd-pleasing molds. As we seek to create a kinder, more vibrant industry, let’s create space for women-identifying artists to be themselves and be true to whatever choices and opinions come with them, on stage and off. The success of artists like Lizzo are a great sign of what's to come — she's making her own rules and encouraging everyone to be and love exactly who they are.
The music industry is composed of more than just singers, and according to a study led by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the gender ratio is skewed for more than just artists. Women make up only 21.7 percent of artists, 12.3 percent of songwriters and 2.1 percent of producers. (Here at Sofar, we pride ourselves on 45% of our acts being women or women-led!) Seek out and support initiatives like Keychange and SoundGirls who are lifting up women across the industry.
We may not be able to change the industry overnight, but we can change our playlists, show lineups, and merch collections to represent the gender equity we wish to see in the world. Changing the world, one click at a time.
We’re already seeing so many of these positive changes, and know it’s only up from here💪 We can’t wait to see where the music industry, and the world, can go when women are given an equal seat at the table.
Get to know some of the amazing women in the Sofar community:
Artists: Shawnee Dez | Lauren Ruth Ward | Oompa
Sofar Team: Sara from Sofar Amsterdam | Rasti from Sofar Jakarta | Teresa from Sofar Hong Kong and Manchester
Hosts: Republic Restoratives | Arlington Street Church | Feng Sway
Want to celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting amazing women artists? Get tickets to one of Sofar’s many IWD shows happening around the globe next week and support women artists wherever you can.
Header photo of Emily Afton by Alden Tatum