The PRS Foundation for Music, a leading funder of new talent and devopment, issued its five-year Women Make Music Fund evaluation on 6 March 2017. It reveals there were 1,300 applications since the fund opened in 2011, and 82% of women surveyed rated the creative impact on their career as significant or very significant.
The report findings were launched at a roundtable event hosted by MP Nigel Adams Chair of the APPG for Music in Parliament this week, where Women Make Music grantees discussed with representatives of the music industry and MPs, the positive impact the fund had on their careers and the challenges they faced as female music creators.
- 157 female songwriters, composers and creators were supported
- 47% supported were non-white British women
- The impact of the grant was significant or very significant on creativity (89%), confidence (79%) and business development (49%) on women surveyed
- 85% said it was unlikely or would have been impossible for their project to have happened without the fund
The grant allowed surveyed women to increase income through commissions and bookings (27%), secure more bookings (82%), attract new commissions (64%), and grow their team (54%). It also provided on average an extra £3,513 to their annual income.
78% of applicants said they'd experienced sexism in the music industry, with lack of recognition of contribution or achievement, pressure to conform to a "beautiful and sexy" image, and lack of female role models as recurring themes in interviews with applicants, as well as a general perception of music being a male-dominated industry.
Suggested solutions to inequality in the industry included encouraging funders and policymakers to raise the profile of female music creators of all genres, raising debate of barriers women face in the music industry, a programme to support female engineers, producers and technicians, networking and access to industry contacts for women, and marketing support / business and funding advice.
The report also includes recommendations to government, Arts Council England, BBC, UK Music and British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Download the full report below.
Image of 2016 grant receipient Abi Wade from PRS Foundation for Music