Since 2016 Sound and Music has been marking International Women’s Day with a range of different activities including publishing our data on gender equality celebrating and highlighting the brilliant work created by women composers across the UK.
2020 is a particularly important year for us as we take this opportunity to reflect on the commitment we made in in 2017 “50:50 by 2020”.
We have reviewed our journey so far and our progress, with our Chief Executive Susanna Eastburn asking what comes next for Sound and Music’s commitments to gender equality in her latest blog.
“The real truth behind Sound and Music’s pioneering work towards gender equality is that it has also opened our eyes to the barriers to diversity more broadly, and this is something we will continue to explore.” – Susanna Eastburn – CEO, Sound and Music
Reviewing the Data
Since 2017 we have seen positive changes in the percentage of applicants and selected composers across our Artists Development Programme who identify as women. With a marked increase following our original commitments. These changes have been achieved through embedding proactive and long-term interventions including reviewing the language we use, our communications methods and who we chose to highlight.
Alongside this we have made significant changes to our recruitment methods, with selection panels being made aware of our aims and asked to consider gender representation in their decision making. However it is clear there is still work to be done, both by Sound and Music and
the sector as a whole.
This year, and in continuation of our work towards equality, Sound and Music has launched its Fair Access Principles, calling for wide ranging changes in the recruitment, selection and support of composers across the UK.
Our wider work for #IWD2020
From the 8th March, we welcome the return of our #aComposerADay series. Over the next 31 days we’ll be showcasing 31 women composers, sound artists, creators and performers across the British Music Collection and on social media, from essential historical figures previously unrepresented in the collection, to those shaping contemporary sound and music today.
On Minute of Listening, our music education resource for schools, we’ve created a new selection of minutes, curated especially for 2020, which pulls together 10 diverse minutes from across our collections. The featured minutes showcase dynamic modern composers such as Laura Bowler and Jennifer Walshe alongside influential historic artists, such as electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram.
Sound and Music needs your support to continue our work campaigning for change and championing new music. Find out more here.