Inspiring Women in Music – singers to sound engineers – motivate at the Royal Albert Hall

9 Sep 2015

The Inspiring Women campaign in partnership with MOBO today hosted a flagship ‘career speed networking’ event in the Royal Albert Hall.  It saw 35 women representing a wide range of careers in the music industry talk with 200 state school girls about their jobs and experiences.  Career speed networkers included; singer and pop icon Sandie Shaw, Radio DJ Sara Cox, Kanya King, CEO and Founder of MOBO and Strictly Come Dancing 2015 contestant and broadcaster Katie Derham.

Women make a fantastic contribution to the music industry, but far too often this is not sufficiently acknowledged or celebrated.  Like many other industries, the music industry shows a worrying gender imbalance, particularly at senior levels. Creative & Cultural Skills report that the gender divide across all music industry related jobs is 67.8% male to 32.2% female. Performing Rights Society for Music report that their membership of over 95,000 songwriters and composers is only 13% female. Association of Independent Music’s 2012 membership survey revealed that only 15% of label members are majority-owned by women.

More worryingly, girls are telling us that they have little idea about the career options open to them and the exciting range of jobs available – e.g. musicians, conductors, composers, sound engineers, radio presenters, record producers, agents, PR, etc. It is time to change that and inspire the next generation of girls and women to consider a career in music.

Kanya King MBE, CEO and Founder of MOBO said: “I’m so thrilled to be taking part of such a great event for an even greater cause. A number of strong, inspirational women were huge role models to me growing up and were instrumental in shaping my career, so any opportunity I have to do the same for other young women I grab with both hands! I’d love to see many more women have successful careers in all areas of the music industry and not just behind the microphone.”

Sandie Shaw, singer and 1960s pop icon said: “Neo feminism: we have reached a stage where it is not enough for individual women to become empowered, it is now all about empowering each other. It makes me so happy to have reached a time in my life where I have some experience and confidence to pass on and at the same to listen and to learn from young women’s current experiences and ideas. I am looking forward to participating in this wonderful dialogue. Only when women are truly happy and fulfilled can men be too.”

Katie Derham, BBC radio presenter said: “”There are so many different ways to enjoy a career in the music industry and follow a passion for music, and I’m delighted that Inspiring Women is spreading the word.”

Becky Hill, the first The Voice UK contestant to score a UK Number 1 said: “I am honoured to be a part of such a great cause. I’ve found there is a real lack of other women in the industry and I’m so excited to be promoting more young women to get involved in this industry. I’d love to be able to have my music engineered, written, produced, mixed, mastered and A&R’d by women. I don’t know why I haven’t already!’

Classical violinist, Tasmin Little OBE, said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the Inspiring Women in Music campaign. I think it’s imperative that young women have role models – as a young violinist, I was inspired by strong female role models who gave me the confidence to believe that my ambitions were achievable and that my gender would not hinder my career path. It is important to give all young women the clear and positive message that our society values and celebrates women in all career areas.”

Miriam González Durántez, Partner law firm Dechert and Inspiring Women campaign Champion, said: “Pretty much every person in the world is able to sing a song from the UK music industry. It is not only an industry worth £3.5 billion to the UK’s economy but also one of this country’s best ambassadors in the world. The music industry offers a huge range of career options for boys and girls .I am delighted that some of the best female representatives of the industry and fantastic role models have joined us today to inspire the next generation of girls and encourage them to pursuit a future in music.

Lucy Noble, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this flagship event. The Hall believes passionately in making the arts accessible to all, and we reach over 100,000 children a year through our Education & Outreach programme, which fosters a love of music in young people while raising awareness of the many careers available both on and beyond the stage. As the director responsible for overseeing all the shows at one of the world’s most iconic concert venues, I look forward to sharing my expertise and experiences with young women from across the country.”


Steph Baldwin Technical Show Manager Royal Albert Hall
Chris Burns Chair Sound Women
Hayley Clements Head of Learning & Participation Royal College of Music
Sara Cox Broadcaster & Radio DJ
Fleur Derbyshire-Fox Director of Engagement English National Ballet
Katie Derham Radio Presenter BBC
Emma Dillon Professor of Music Kings College London
Jo Dipple CEO UK Music
Kate Finch Head of Proms Marketing BBC
Janet Fraser Crook Producer Jools Holland’s ‘Later’
Miriam González Partner Dechert
Sharon Hanley Head of Communications BBC Radio 2
Becky Hill Singer & The Voice contestant
Jessica Isaacs Editor, In Tune BBC Radio
Beverly Jones Musician (double bass) BBC Symphony Orchestra
Francesca Kemp Executive Producer Proms
Kanya King CEO MOBO






Paulette Long Deputy Chairman PRS for Music
Jade Matthews Radio Presenter
Candice Morrissey Music Strategic Partnerships EMEA Google
Lucy Noble Director of Events Royal Albert Hall
Dawn Payne Series Producer Proms Extra BBC Music
Rita Ray Music Producer
Amanda Roocroft Opera Singer
Tracy Ross Studio Manager BBC Operations
Lesley Rutherford Head of Publishing Faber Music
Sandie Shaw Singer and pop icon
Amanda Squires Director of Operations Royal Albert Hall
Indy Vidyalankara Director of Comms Sony Music UK
Jan Younghusband Head of Commissioning Music TV BBC Music
LIV Singer

What is the Inspiring Women campaign?

The national Inspiring Women campaign launched on 17 October 2013 and we already have 16,500 volunteers. Our ambition is to see 25,000 women from a wide range of occupations going into state schools, over the next year, talking to 250,000 young women. Since the 2012 launch of our Inspiring the Future programme, 8,563 teachers from nearly 75% of state secondary schools have signed up as a means of finding volunteers to talk with pupils about jobs and careers.

You can join us!

Pledge one hour a year to change young lives by volunteering to talk with girls in school.Register to take part here:

Follow us on @Edu_Employers and #inspiringwomeninmusic

The key strategic partner and lead corporate supporter is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 See our photos from the event:

Inspiring Women in Music at the Royal Albert Hall - 9th September 2015

Watch singer, 1960s pop icon and business woman, Sandie Shaw, talking about Inspiring Women:

Strictly Come Dancing 2015 contestant and BBC broadcaster Katie Derham talks about Inspiring Women:


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