Women’s Opportunities and Obstacles in Music Industry alongside Mitigation Strategies to combat the Shortfalls

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18th May 2020 Music Reference this

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Women’s Opportunities and Obstacles in Music Industry alongside Mitigation Strategies to combat the Shortfalls

Abstract

This paper outlines various opportunities that women have in the music industry as well as the obstacles. After analyzing the two elements, the paper elucidates the possible resolutions that can revoke gender biases in the profession. From a literature search, some of the opportunities women have in the field include appreciation and awards. Other recognition, female artists already recruited into the industry admits that the working conditions are favorable. Also, the disadvantaged group is experiencing support from firms that have employed them. Conversely, the paper takes a sharp corner by outlining the obstacles that women face in the profession. Due to these obstacles, women are deprived off developing their music skills and dominating their male counterparts. One of the barriers includes the perception of the community on the women. The society perceives women as tools for bearing children; hence, they lack resources to build on their music interest. Finally, education is also another factor discussed in the paper. According to the education element, contemporary society does not provide an equal opportunity to both the sexes in pursuit of their interest. Therefore, the study concludes that the obstacles in the music industry outperform the advantages. Thus, it outlines some of the mitigation strategies, such as early childhood and fair treatment to solve the situation. 

Introduction

In the current male-dominated art industry, females have been accessing short straw to draw the same privileges as their counterpart males. Statistically, the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) outlined in their annual celebration held in 2018 that US female artist bagged $9.6[1]. The fixed amount is a 12% increment over the 2017 financial report. The music research organization stated that despite the increase in the funds, female artists are not equal to male artists in terms of industry dominance. The obstacles that women face in the Music Industry outweigh the opportunities present, and this phenomenon can be revoked through correcting the existing shortfalls. This paper unravels an in-depth analysis of women challenges and opportunities present in music society alongside the mitigation strategies to save the situation.

1.0 Obstacles in the music industry

1.1 Societal perception

Historically, contemporary society has been gender biased due to the alleged genetic and biologic difference between male and females. Even though women are observed to be moving into the employment market, sex inequality between females and males have persisted, especially on resources, status, and power. The perceived difference has continued to provide men with a lot of advantages over the counterpart females. Given this fact, gender inequality in the music industry is a result of the social perception of women by society. Gender imbalance in the community is evident in several domains from workplace to household. The gender discrimination is echoed by the continued difference in roles of a woman in families. Women persist in executing more house chores than males, which denies females the time to compete fairly with males since most of their time is dedicated to domestic tasks. In a survey conducted in Europe and America, women are exposed to 16% less remuneration compared to males[2]. Globally, Leonard (56) indicate that women are entitled to 56% of the portion when they are owing. Such inconsistency perception of gender is creating a hostile atmosphere for the survival of women in the music industry. 

1.2 Lack of resources

The music industry is perceived to be a business that requires significant capital to succeed effectively[3]. In contemporary society, men are wealthier than women; thus, males have an advantage in the music profession. Raewyn Connell, a sociologist, argues that power and wealth are critical determinants of success in the music profession “accumulating on an unprecedented scale, overwhelmingly in the hands of men” (Leonard 78). The structural differences have made men dominate the economic world, which has influenced the gender gap between male and females in most professions. While the social expectation of women’s role is raising children, men are projected to work and accumulate wealth for the family. Such stereotype of the community has resulted adversely on women’s development in all other professions. Michele Anthony, who is second in command for Universal Music organization, has indicated that the owning assets or properties tangibly impact the ability of females to succeed in the music industry. Therefore, initial capital is stated to be essential in funding and maintaining the business.

1.3 Unequal education opportunities

Due to social demands, women received unequal learning opportunities compared to males, especially in the previous century[4]. Most of the current female professional in the music field pursued education through church or family support. In the 19th century, females could not learn music skills equally as males. The society preferred educating males to females due to the stereotype that males were family breadwinners. Given this fact, a gap between females and male artists deepened. Only families with disposable income can segment some portion for educating female daughters. Even though in the 20th-century, women are subjected to equal opportunities as males, female musicians are still few in the art market.  Statistics reveal that even after the opportunity factors has been resolved, more males still enrolled in music classes[5]. This situation is contrary to the expectation of females who opted for reservation of learning slots for the female students. It is unfortunate that since the restrictions are not more male who had already dominated the market continue to flood the industry.

2.0 Opportunities

2.1 Comfort in the workplace

The chief advantage that women have in the music industry is comfort in their workplace. In a survey conducted by Chung (56), elicit that majority of women present in the music industry experience a comfortable working environment. Even though gender bias is still evident during recruitment, the 77 percent of the US and Europe female musicians that have participated in the study admitted that they are not facing discrimination in their workplace Chung (23). On the other hand, 64 percent of the female interrogated indicated that they receive support from their respective studios to continue pursuing their music dreams. When the workplace for women is comfortable in their workplace, they motivate another prospect musician to join the profession. Ideally, when more females get into the industry, gender discrimination cannot thrive since most of the females will have a leadership position in the business.

2.2 Creation of awareness   

Continuous awards alongside international recognition echo Women’s capability in the music industry[6]. Through a US-based organization, prominent women in the music industry have continuously received awards followed by international recognition through journals and music websites. Therefore the opportunities that women are subjected to in the music industry is related to the rapid growth of commercial digital studios and academic based computer music. For the past several decades, women have pioneered the audio sector. Scholars state that their population, especially in the audio recording studio, is expanding[7]. Through different constitutional bills of gender, women are provided with undisputed opportunities while recruiting studio employees. The priority women have in recruitment has developed employment opportunities for subsequent generations. Given the fact that women’s’ achievement is acknowledged, it instills a sense of gender sensitivity in the community. The global recognition of women improves the perception of contemporary society towards enhancing gender equality in the music profession.

2.3 Workplace support

Females are identified to be passionate in the modern improvisation of digital music. The performance and composition systems of such songs are the primary examples where women are acknowledged to have immensely corrected. Pauline Oliver, a US nationalist, for instance, has participated solely in the production of numerous articles alongside books that provide relevant information for electronic music Chung (23)[8]. Laurie Spiegel also has international recognition as the best programmer, composer, and graphics engineer in digital music development. Electronic music is one of the most successful sectors of the music industry that when women are perceived to be competent, it builds on their reputation. Such recognition has changed the perception of the society to gain more trust in women. Therefore, women are dispensed with opportunities at recruitment phase such positions.

2.4 Recruitment opportunities

The population of women in audio engineering is rapidly rising with their contributions immensely appreciated. In a study by Leonard (67), women are observed to dominate the music audio recording for the last three decades. Among the successful women, the sector includes; Leslie Jones and Yates Whittle who have received international recognition other than annual awards conducted in the most powerful country, the United States of America[9]. Women are given priorities in this audio engineering field since society believes strongly in services provided by them. When the community is beginning to change its perception towards the competency of women, it exhibits that the consecutive generations of women will secure a significant position in the music industry. The social perspective is developing a long term solution to gender inequality in the music industry. The sex-biased field of music has provided men with more opportunities since human civilization began. 

Mitigation strategies

Equal exposure at early childhood

Finally, programs aimed at exposing young women to music can contribute immensely to the creation of equality in the industry[10]. Psychological studies elicit that it is crucial to orient children to their passion field while they are young. According to Chung (45), childhood is critical for children since they learn how to unscramble music tones, and also enhance their capability to memorize the lyrics of songs. Similar to language development in human beings, children are developing essential skills through memorizing and imitating rhythms. When children manage to develop these skills at an early age, they will establish the music skills necessary for this profession. However, early exposure to music influence musical skills both negatively and positively. Thus, sufficient exposure and stimulation of children are required in developing the potential for music growth.  Since female and male children are exposed equally to early childhood music education, the inequality observed in the music industry will reduce. 

Implementation Blind auditions

Gender bias in the music industry can also reduce through the implementation of blind auditions. Research by Leonard (445) unleashes that women and women can be exposed to standard evaluation when their sex cannot be determined. This strategy is essential since the same study shows that specific imbalance exists in the music industry. Through the journal, it is evident that some jury makes judgments consideration the gender musicians[11]. When a member of the jury cannot determine the sex of an individual, it reduces the probability of wrong prejudiced decisions. Blind auditions technique can be extended even to interviews. In case of an interview, all the sex should be available with a standard identification that would not suggest gender. Gender-based identification can reduce in interview panel through a recommendation of the use of surnames. Since most surnames cannot reveal the sex of a person, women will have an equal opportunity during recruitment. Such steps will curb the discrimination that women are facing in the music industry.

Conclusion

In summary, the paper has addressed the possible reason orchestrating gender discrimination in the music profession. Women face harsh conditions that deprive them of succeeding in the music field. First, society expects women to play the role of bearing children at the expense of economic development through a various business such as music. Women have opportunities such as desirable workplace and support from respective firms. However, the opportunities cannot combat the shortfalls already present in the industry. Good working condition alongside awards only help the existing women in the industry, thus prospect female artist are not privileged. Considering the opportunities and threats that women have in the music industry, obstacles outweigh the advantages.

Bibliography


[1] Leonard, Marion. Gender in the music industry: Rock, discourse and girl power. Routledge, 2017. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351218252

[2] Leonard, Marion. Gender in the music industry: Rock, discourse and girl power. Routledge, 2017. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351218252

[3] Leonard, Marion. Gender in the music industry: Rock, discourse and girl power. Routledge, 2017. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351218252

[4] Schmutz, Vaughn, and Alison Faupel. “Gender and cultural consecration in popular music.” Social forces 89, no. 2 (2010): 685-707.

https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/89/2/685/2235406

[5] Schmutz, Vaughn, and Alison Faupel. “Gender and cultural consecration in popular music.” Social forces 89, no. 2 (2010): 685-707.

https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/89/2/685/2235406

[6] McRobbie, Angela, and Angela Mcrobbie. In the culture society: Art, fashion and popular music. Routledge, 2013.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781136180316

[7] McRobbie, Angela, and Angela Mcrobbie. In the culture society: Art, fashion and popular music. Routledge, 2013.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781136180316

[8] Chung, Sheng Kuan. “Media/visual literacy art education: Sexism in hip-hop music videos.” Art Education 60, no. 3 (2007): 33-38.

[9] Chung, Sheng Kuan. “Media/visual literacy art education: Sexism in hip-hop music videos.” Art Education 60, no. 3 (2007): 33-38. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00043125.2007.11651642

[10] Conor, B., Gill, R., & Taylor, S. (2015). Gender and creative labour. The Sociological Review, 63, 1-22. https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/89/2/685/2235406

[11] Conor, B., Gill, R., & Taylor, S. (2015). Gender and creative labour. The Sociological Review, 63, 1-22. https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/89/2/685/2235406

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