PRS For Music has today (March 8) revealed that of the top 20 highest earning songwriters and music composers in the UK last year, only one was female.
According to their research, over 1,000 women in the UK registered as working songwriters and composers last year, yet the ratio of male-to-female songwriters and composers remains disappointingly flat year-on-year, with only 17% of PRS For Music’s writer membership identifying as female. PRS For Music has cited that the numbers signal the “slow progress across the music industry to address gender disparity in the profession.” The figure was just 13% in 2011.
The same report did, however, highlight that younger generations are experiencing a fairer industry than their older counterparts – 42% of PRS For Music writer members under the age of 20 identify as female. PRS For Music also noted that millennials Charli XCX, Jess Glynne and Romy Madley Croft (The xx) are joining the likes of Adele, Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch and Emeli Sandé as some of the most successful female songwriters in the UK: 40% of the top 10 highest earning female songwriters are under the age of 35.
The current average age of the highest earning top 10 female songwriters and composers is 47-years-old. Annie Lennox, Kate Bush and Chrissie Hynde are amongst the most played songwriters on UK radio.
Speaking about the figures, Claire Jarvis, director of membership, PRS for Music, said: “These statistics are indicative of widespread gender disparity across the entire UK music business and shine a light on the need for continued positive action to be taken to make our industry a fairer and more inclusive space. Whether through creating opportunities, breaking down barriers, improving education, or mentoring, we need to work together to ensure tomorrow’s songwriters have visible role models to aspire to.”