As the Music Week Women In Music Awards return on November 9, so too does the Roll Of Honour, recognising outstanding achievements across all corners of the industry. Join us as we gather this year's inductees to hear their remarkable stories...
MANAGING DIRECTOR, MANNERS MCDADE
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?
“What a lovely surprise and a real honour. It’s always one of my favourite events of the year and I’m really looking forward to it this year.”
How did you get into the music business?
“I’ve always been a real music fanatic, thanks to my dad and mum, and was very lucky to have had a brilliant musical education. After gigging for years and enjoying the performance side, I went into music PR, with a specialism in classical music, and then into music publishing through sync, creative licensing and promotion.”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped or inspired you in the early part of your career?
“I’m definitely still in the early part of my career and lucky to have Catherine Manners as a role model, boss and mentor every day.”
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career?
“Every time we sign a new artist or achieve something special or career-changing for them, it feels so wonderful and is certainly a driving force for me each and every day – so all of those combined so far is the biggest and best achievement.”
Some of the gender pay gap figures for the music industry made for sobering reading. How far away is parity of opportunity and remuneration for women in the UK music industry?
“Parity of opportunity for all people is so important, and the factors that affect this are varied and massive – we have so much work to do in changing this. The conversation around recent pay gap figures was sobering of course, and we need real action now: as much as talking the talk is important, we absolutely need to start walking the walk on this. It’s been a really amazing experience setting up the mentorship programme SheGrows for SheSaidSo (which we piloted last year, and are just kicking off with again this year). We’ve had such a lovely response from our previous participants who now have these role models to look up to, and amazing women to learn from and be supported by – I hope the future is bright for our SheGrowers.”
Have things improved during your career. And what more needs to be done?
“The sense of community amongst women in the industry is so inspiring. SheSaidSo is a really special network and provides so much for women right across the business. I hope we all continue to support each other and collaborate. As for what needs to be done now… Real, palpable change. Change in policy, change in laws, change on boards, change on panels, change in who we see in magazines and newsletters, change in offices, change in culture.”
The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries continues to dominate the news agenda. Is the music business doing enough to tackle the problem?
“There are a few brilliant initiatives out there for tackling sexual harassment at live music venues, and I really hope that clubs and venues continue to prioritise this going forward. It’s something that should be a huge priority for artists too, and teams should be aware of it at all shows. Within the business, I hope that equality at all levels and for all people brings the respect and professionalism everyone deserves.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in the music business?
“Learn your craft, be confident in your knowledge and expertise, hold your ground, focus on the music, focus on the artists, take support from those around you, empower other women, and be kind to everyone.”