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8 music-making projects supporting women and girls

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woman wearing headphones producing music on a laptop
Photo credit: Brighter Sound

Closing the gender gap in music

Last year, our report A Blueprint for the Future found there were still many gender inequalities in the music industry; women were less likely to be currently earning than men (41% vs 55%), and they were more than twice as likely than men (13% vs 6%) to say they hadn’t had access to any support in order to help them achieve a career in the music industries.

Thanks to support from the National Lottery via Arts Council England and players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re able to fund around 350 music-making projects for children and young people, particularly for those who wouldn't be able to make music because of who they are, where they live or what they're going through.

Today, on International Women’s Day, find out about the incredible work organisations we fund are doing to support women and girls in music. 

1. Knowle West Media

"The fact that the DJ workshop was run by a women made the participants (young women aged 16-18) feel comfortable, with one of them saying "I have gained music skills in a comfortable and relaxed environment!". - Daniel Edmund, music leader at Knowle West Media Centre

2. Beautiful Ideas Company

"This group of talented women has been supported to work with local girls and young women just beginning their own music-making and creative journeys. Together we developed a bespoke training and mentoring plan that engaged and supported the female workforce and emerging talented female musicians to take their skills to the next level as well working with them to lift their individual professional profiles and that of females in music across the North West as a whole." - employee of Beautiful Ideas Company 

Ali (17) participant of The Hive, another project from Beautiful Ideas Company said “I got to meet multiple women in the industry…one of the women, a songwriter, really opened my eyes to how broad song writing is - it really helped me to develop my own lyrics and style. What I wanted out of the course was to gain more confidence and I have…”

3. More Music

Over the past few years More Music have developed a 'Women In Music' network which they say has enabled them to meet, support and employ women, especially in areas of under representation.

4. Saffron

Saffron, a Bristol-based group that’s part record label and part educational facility for women, runs “Saffron For Sound”, women-only courses teaching about music production software and studio engineering.

5. Come Play With Me

Come Play With Me is a not-for-profit based out of Leeds that looks to support people locally into sustainable careers in music. They’re best known for their split 7” vinyl singles club and encouraging -represented people into music – the tag line is ‘not just for the straight white beardy boys playing guitars’!

6. AudioActive

AudioActive have a flagship, open-access workshop and performance programme across East and West Sussex. As part of this they run Equaliser – offering free digital music production workshops for young women, led by female tutors.

7. Pie Factory Music

Pie Factory Music have an Emerging Artist Programme which involves working with girls and young women to provide them with female-only spaces where artist feel safe to express themselves, and can be supported and nurtured through a strong, creative female team.

8. Pan Intercultural Arts

Pan Intercultural Arts run the Amies Freedom Choirs programme which works with young women trafficked into the UK for the sex industry or domestic slavery. They have seen massive benefits to group singing – not just to participant’s musicality, but their mental health and their integration into society too.

Find more organisations we fund that support women and girls here.