When it comes to institutional issues plaguing the music industry, it seems as though not only have real solutions been scarce over the years; but even just awareness surrounding these issues have only just begun to surface into the mainstream. While many have been fighting for justice for years, it seems as though their voices are only now being heard in the mainstream; even so, solutions to effectively overturning gender-based discrimination in the music world are not being taken seriously enough. Tackling this kind of discrimination requires practical solutions; solutions that extend further than inclusive line-ups – solutions that uproot the very core of these issues.
Through education; personal, social and economic empowerment – we can begin to find ways to bring about real change within all facets of the music industry. An organisation at the forefront of this mission is the all-female identifying collective shesaid.so – recognised globally with 15 chapters around the world, shesaid.so is focused on empowerment for women, trans and non-binary individuals in the music world. Boasting multiple mentorship programs which aim to provide opportunities for career advancement in all areas of the music industry, shesaid.so has accumulated an estimated, staggering 10,000 members who are signed up to the collective. Founded by Andreea Magdalina in 2014, shesaid.so is focused on individual and community empowerment; proactive when it comes to events, campaigns and further initiatives – and now, are continuing their mission with their first ever conference, Meetss.
Specifically focused on electronic dance music – the four-day conference, to be held in Portimão, Southern Portugal from October 3rd – 6th marks the organisations 5th anniversary. The conference boasts partners such as Resident Advisor, Youtube Music, Pioneer DJ and Live Nation (amongst many others) and despite being female-first, invites individuals of all genders to attend, with the intent to foster and create dialogue. With high profile industry professionals acting as speakers during this one of a kind conference, topics are said to include:
“Personal & professional growth; intersectionality, diversity & inclusion; starting and running your own business; mentorship & community; mental health & wellbeing; solutions to address workplace harassment & misconduct; plus music industry networking.”
As stated by Magdalina, the conference is focused on bringing their narrative to a wide audience, as opposed to the exclusive focus of shesaid.so members; a move intended to address the whole industry, and spread their values and intent to all facets of the music world. As stated on their website:
“We are breaking down gender stereotypes within the music industry and create a diverse pool of role models for future generations.
We are raising awareness of the gender gap and lobby for policy change that promotes gender equality, diversity and inclusion
We are enhancing the profile of accomplished women already making a mark in the industry.
We are increasing the number of women across all industry sectors and levels, particularly in executive leadership and technical roles.”
With a practical approach to tackling sexism in the music world; from lack of representation, the pay gap and lack of fair opportunity to female-identifying individuals – to workplace harassment and mental health – Meetss is a much needed conference that is highly recommended to anyone who is able to attend.