Today (March 8th) is International Women's Day, and Clash will be spending the day supporting and amplifying female music makers.
But it's not a one day job. The fight for recognition, the attempt to push for an equal space within UK music - and beyond - isn't something that can be reduced to 24 hours.
Across the country, a host of organisations are seeking change, and providing invaluable support to those on the ground.
Here's a selection of five key groups, and how you can support their work.
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PRS Women Make Music
The PRS Foundation - the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent - offers a Women Make Music scheme intended to ‘break down assumptions and stereotypes within the music industry’.
Acting as a model for future generations, PRS seek to support and amplify women, trans and non-binary musicians; ensuring matching levels of support as their male counterparts.
The aim is “to increase the profile of women, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music in the UK”.
Women Make Music ‘supports the development of outstanding’ songwriters, composers and artists of ‘all genres and backgrounds’.
A positive platform created to magnify and sincerely listen to what underrepresented groups have to say.
The next deadline for Women Make Music funding is June 14th and full information can be found HERE.
The Bechdel Sound Test
The Bechdel Sound Test is a non-profit collective celebrating women and gender minority talent in music and culture.
Raising a platform for female-fronted cross-genre musicians in an often highly male dominated environment; the Bechdel Sound Test throw gigs, promote musicians and host their own club nights where creative women are the focus.
Exuberant social media rife with female and gender minority talent, underground artists deserving of a wider audience and empowering events, quizzes and even yoga classes
The Bechdel Sound Test reflect the best in women-focussed musicianship.
The Bechdel Weekender is returning for International Women’s Day this year - home style. Running between March 6th to 8th the digital-fest is sure to be a vibrant and forthcoming array of fresh talent.
An unmissable celebration - find the full running order HERE.
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Women In Jazz
The current rush of energy through the UK’s jazz communities has resulted in some startling music. However the onslaught of headlines disguises some structural issues, notably in the gender imbalance within UK jazz.
According to the latest statistics, only 5% of jazz musicians in the UK are women, while less than one in five have actually managed to get a record deal.
It’s a situation that has to change, which is why the work being done by Women In Jazz is so vital, timely, and needed. An organisation that aims to nurture new female talent within jazz, Women In Jazz match online ideation to real-world action - from digital endeavours to live shows at iconic venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, they work tirelessly to platform and support new female artists.
With their Uncovered series providing some valuable investigation work, Women In Jazz are making real strides in representation within this potent sector of UK music.
Get involved with Women In Jazz HERE.
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Bristol label Saffron Records wants to dismantle the patriarchy one brick at a time. Founded by Laura Lewis-Paul, the imprint matches more traditional label services - working with new artists on every aspect of recording, mixing, and release - to a series of out-reach classes.
Running regular digital masterclasses, Saffron Records seeks to unite and uplift female talent, providing entrance points to pathways that they might otherwise be excluded from.
Partnering with Bristol Women In Music for a series of six week courses, Saffron Records has also set up a female DJ network designed to kick down the door to the boy’s club.
Amplifying the skills of new artists while also accelerating their growth, Saffron Records recognise that unpicking the phallocentric tendencies of the British music industry requires a more rounded, holistic, and 360 approach.
Find a full profile of Saffron Records HERE.
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Women In CTRL
Found by Nadia Khan as a means to promote collective development by female talent in the UK music industry, Women In CTRL has grown to absorb the skills of more than 500 members, spanning every possible discipline.
A sign that unity can be used as a means to overcome barriers, Women In CTRL break down the challenges faced by women working in British music, and find a way to challenge them.
Linking with trade organisations to push for representation at the very top, Women In CTRL want to break the glass ceiling provide new paths for female professionals. Deeply intersectional in their outlook, Women In CTRL place emphasis on the further challenges faced by Black women and women of colour in British music, providing a support network for those who need further assistance in their journey.
It’s free to sign up - get involved HERE.
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Words: Amelia Lloyd + Robin Murray
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