Statistics expose yet another male-dominated field

Women’s History Month reminds us there is a lack of equality and representation in the music industry field. 

Behind the scenes of the music industry, women continue to face barriers to inclusion. The lack of women is especially drastic in songwriting, engineering and producing. 

The University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative is an annual report on gender equality in the music industry. According to Annenberg’s website, this study is conducted by Stacy L. Smith and funded by Spotify. This study looks primarily at popular music seen on the charts of Billboard as well as Grammy nominations. 

According to 2022’s report, the number of women represented on the Billboard’s end of year Hot 100 Chart was 30%. The women songwriters were even lower at 14%. With a total of 232 producers, only 3.4% were women.  

Compared to the past decade, the statistics of 2022 show improvement. 30% representation is a new peak for women representation. However, that does not guarantee that this will continue.  

The real work must be done by those in the industry to make an effort in inclusion.  

According to a report from Marie Charlotte Götting, a Statista research expert on audio media, Grammy nominations also show underrepresentation for women artists. From 2013-2022, women represented only an average of 13.6% of the nominees across the categories of record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best new artist and producer of the year. Producer of the year seemed to be the least representative of women with only 1.9% female nominees over the last decade.  

The scarcity of women in producing roles is something that the music industry should be striving to change. 2022’s report of 3.4% of producing roles being held by women is a decrease from 2021’s, which was 3.9%. With that, the peak of women in producing roles was 5% over the past decade.  

In order to see a change, awareness is the first step. It is up to employers to assign women the roles of artists, producers, sound engineers and songwriters.