Recognising Female Music Executives

Billboard annually publish a list of ‘Women in Music – the 100 Most Powerful Executives’. The question is why do none of these executives share the title of being one of the ‘100 Most Powerful Women in the World,’ according to Forbes’ list?

In Forbes’ list of ‘The World’s Most Powerful Women 2017’, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are the only two women to feature from the music industry, with Beyoncé standing at number 50 and Taylor Swift at number 85, but why is this? It could be that an organisation like Forbes feels that music, the music industry and music executives just aren’t important enough to include in their business magazine (they recently published an article How The Music Industry is Putting Itself Out of Business), forgetting there’s a music industry beyond the celebrity hype.

Aside from Forbes not treating the music industry as a legitimate field, the absence of female music industry executives on these other lists could be due to the lack of opportunities for women, or perhaps these media outlets not recognizing their work. Most likely, it is a combination of all these factors.

It’s debatable how meaningful these impersonal lists really are. I personally feel executives should be encouraged to work together, not ranked against each other – the music industry is competitive enough without media outlets interrupting. But it still highlights an interesting point of the place of a music industry executive in relation to the rest of the world, and more potently, demonstrates the sparse amount of female executives in the music industry.

It’s going to be a long process to bring recognition for female executives to the same standing as men, but that shouldn’t stop us from focusing on the recognition they are already receiving, as well as commemorating Billboard for the aforementioned annual list of Most Powerful Female Executives in the Industry. Just last week, Billboard published their 2017 list, and I’ve picked out the most influential quotes and advice given by female executives for you to read here:

COO, Capitol Music Group
Advice For Up-And-Comers: ‘Listen as much as you talk.’

President, Universal Music Group Nashville
Best Advice From a Female Executive: ‘Sometimes it’s important to lead from behind. You don’t have to be the voice or the face of everything.’

Executive VP, Artist Partner Group
Advice For Up-And-Comers: ‘No good decision is based on fear. So you break your leg; you heal and you learn.’

Global Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, Citi
Advice For Up-And-Comers: ‘Make opportunities happen. Own your career and development of your own brand.’

During my work experience all over the world, I was lucky enough to have worked with a number of the women named on this list. The common theme that runs through any conversation I’ve had in the music industry is the importance of building a community and fostering relationships in furthering a career. Consider this on your own ventures, and you too might end up on the list one day!

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