Every year, 12 industry game changers are inducted onto the Roll Of Honour at the Music Week Women In Music Awards, and this year’s list could be the strongest yet. Here, we meet the executives…
Leah Stockford, Senior Marketing Director, RCA
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Woman In Music Roll Of Honour?
“I am very honoured to be part of the Roll Of Honour amongst so many other inspirational women within the industry. It is important for women to be recognised and empowered and these awards are a great example of this.”
How did you get into the business?
“I moved to London 19 years ago to get into music and started out as an assistant in Warner Classics and then onto Warner Strategic Marketing.
My heart was always in pop and dance music and a PA position became available at East West Records. One year later I was promoted to junior product manager.
It was the best feeling in the world - 19 years on, and I am in my dream job with RCA, working with an incredible team of people.”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped or inspired you in the early part of your career?
“There were certainly a number of female artists early doors that inspired me, from Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Madonna – all such strong women, and not afraid to push boundaries and speak their minds.
There was one man, Dion Singer, who was very respectful and supportive of women in the industry. He taught me to not be afraid and to have an opinion, fight for what you believe in and respect and be loyal to those you work with. I would like to think I have passed this onto my team too.”
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
“Aside from helping create and deliver marketing campaigns across some of the most incredible artists, my biggest achievement is nurturing, promoting and leading the next generation of marketeers within my team.
As much as having individual success, it’s about having success as part of a team and I couldn’t have done it without the people around me.
I am very excited about a number of women who I have helped grow into the next marketing superstars.”
Do you think there is parity of opportunity and remuneration for women in the UK music industry at the moment?
“I certainly think more opportunities have arisen for women to be promoted into more senior roles in recent years.
There is also more flexibility around working hours for those who wish to have families. The one area that still needs work on is equal pay, but I believe we are in the best place we have ever been and I see a bright future, not just in music, but across most entertainment industries.”
The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries has dominated the news agenda lately. Does the music business have a problem.
“Having never come across sexual harassment in the business, it’s difficult to comment, but if someone has been affected they should definitely speak out about it and get the support they need.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in music?
“Work hard, challenge yourself and push out of your comfort zone. I see too many people afraid of change and they remain stuck in a rut.
Our industry is constantly changing, so immerse yourself within the change and enjoy it.”