Stars from across the music industry have joined the Recording Academy Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion as a new initiative launched to help expand opportunities for female music producers and engineers.
According to a 2018 USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study, only 2 per cent of music producers and 3 per cent of engineers/mixers across popular music are women – a statistic which the Producer & Engineer Inclusion Initiative aims to change.
The Task Force itself was formed last March, following criticism of the 2018 Grammy Awards and its lack of female representation, and the new initiative is the first step in a larger effort to address gender inequality and increase diversity throughout the music industry.
There are over 200 names that have already signed the pledge, including artists, producers, record labels, and management companies. Among the diverse list of backers are Andra Day, Ariana Grande, Cardi B, John Legend, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, P!NK, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and many more.
“As an artist and member of the Recording Academy, I’m proud to join this pledge and appreciate the work of the Task Force to bring this forward,” said Grammy-winning rapper Common. “Women deserve as much opportunity as men, and we know this industry has not always been fair. The only way to change these inequities is for us to face it directly and commit to do more.”
According to the announcement, the Inclusion Initiative asks that anyone responsible for selecting or hiring producers and engineers must only make their decision “after considering a slate of candidates that includes at least two women.”
It also asks working producers to take gender diversity challenges into account when determining mentoring and advancement opportunities in music’s technical fields. The Recording Academy will be setting up a webpage to help with this process.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my career to surround myself with powerful female figures,” said Task Force member Katy Perry. “I’m proud to have a female engineer run my own Unsub Studios. I pledge to support this great initiative to provide even more opportunity to talented female producers and engineers.”
To see the full list of pledgers visit Grammy.com.