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...
OWNER, CTRL MUSIC; FOUNDER, WOMEN IN CTRL
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?
“I’m flattered to be honoured amongst really inspiring women in the music industry.”
How did you get into the music business?
“I applied for a two-week work experience placement at a boutique music PR company, which got extended to a four month-work experience placement, and then a job offer. I saw Lethal Bizzle’s video for Pow when he had just released it, and reached out to work the single for PR. A few months after meeting Bizzle, I left and started up my own company offering PR and management services and took Bizzle with me as my first client for management. I’m still managing him 15 years later!”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped or inspired you in the early part of your career?
“I didn’t have a mentor, and would have really loved someone who I could have spoken to in the early part of my career.”
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career?
“That I’ve managed to run my own businesses and work independently with music being my only source of income for over 15 years, doing something I love every day.”
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?
“We’re nowhere near parity. However, it’s a good start that these conversations are now being had. We need more ‘allies’ talking about this and actioning change. And more executives at the highest levels need to get involved to action that change.”
Have things improved during your career? And what more needs to be done?
“Not really - I still have to fight my case and presence as a woman in business daily through my work, whether it be attending my artists’ gigs and not being allowed backstage because security don’t believe I’m the manager, or being assumed to be a stylist or extra as soon as I walk onto a video set, or being ignored in meetings or in group situations where it’s mainly male figures. It happens daily, and we need to have the uncomfortable conversations in order to expose the reality for women working in the industry.”
The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries continues to dominate the news agenda. Is the music biz doing enough to tackle the problem?
“Every little helps, but I don’t think enough is being done. Key industry figures need to get involved and lay out concrete plans to tackle sexual harassment and discrimination. It’s good that more women are feeling brave enough to come forward and speak but that is just the first step.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in the music business?
“Always ensure your voice is heard, be passionate and be vocal. Don’t be shy to sing your own praises. Be the first to speak in a meeting to set the tone. Believe in yourself, and reach out to other women in the industry working in similar roles or someone that inspires you and build a strong network for yourself.”