Shesaid.so, the global network of women in the music industry, are launching a full-scale mentorship programme following a successful pilot last year.
The founders of the She.grows scheme and a panel of music industry executives will put 50 pairs of mentors and mentees together this summer for a six-month programme from September. Each 10 pairs will have their own mentorship manager who will check in with either side of the partnership once a month.
“We’ve had great industry-wide support for this scheme from the beginning: from the 120-plus impressive, high-level, empowering women who voluntarily signed up to be a mentor in the pilot programme, to the many organisations who hosted our educational events last year for the scheme,” Harriet Moss, Shesaid.so UK director and she.grows co-founder, told Music Week. “Many people recognise that mentorship could be key to improving the industry at large, so we’d love to encourage them to work with us, support this new scheme and help to grow it each year to reach, and affect, as many people in the music industry as we can.”
The pilot programme was launched last year for any Shesaid.so members who were searching for advice or guidance. Almost 500 women signed up be mentors or receive support. Mentors and mentees came from companies including Ninja Tune, Sony/ATV, Cooking Vinyl, MPA Group, Kilimanjaro, The Orchard, Deezer, Live Nation, Boiler Room, FAC, Your Army PR, Universal Music, Sentric Music, Music Sales, Manners McDade, Imagem, MTV, AIM UK, Songkick, and Warner Music Group.
We’ve had great industry-wide support for this scheme
“The two most interesting lessons came out of the application process,” said Holly Manners, she.grows co-founder and mentorship director. “Firstly, the number of applicants – we had 400-plus – showed us our energy was focused in the right direction, and secondly the horrifying lack of confidence which we read in the applications, with many fantastically experienced women saying that they 'weren't sure if they were experienced enough' to be a mentor when they clearly were. Our experiments with peer-to-peer and inverse mentoring were a great success so we're looking to expand this further as well.”
The pilot had 30% BAME participation across the pilot, with mentees ranging in age from 20-44, while mentors ranged from 20-64.
Shesaid.so have curated and presented events for women in the music industry for almost four years.
“It's an exciting time for Shesaid.so as we've finally passed the awareness stage and enter a more complex, solutions-focused phase,” said Andreea Magdalina, founder of Shesaid.so. “Now that everyone is on board with the fact that lack of diversity is an issue that does no one any good, it's time to focus on intelligent solutions and that's not an easy task. As far as Shesaid.so goes, our focus is on enabling our community to grow and interact with each other better. To achieve that, we will build our own proprietary platform and app custom-built with our community's needs and our diversity mission in mind.”
Andreea Magdalina, founder of Shesaid.so, said there has been an “encouraging” increase in awareness about the lack of equality as highlighted by the gender pay gap in the music industry.
“We're in a great place as far as our presence goes in key music cities in Europe,” she said. “Now we're focusing on creating more visibility in the US while continuing to bring other smaller markets to life where the diversity quota is even more worrying.”