Gender Diversity and Equality in the Live Music Sector

The Cultural Workers

Extracted from The Survey publication 2020

Women and gender minorities have a more difficult access to leadership positions and jobs traditionnally considered as "manly" (technics, logistics...).

This discrepancy stems from explicit or implicit structural sexism: conditioning of career orientation towards positions traditionnally considered "feminine", lack of confidence from gender minorities to apply to jobs considered as "manly", etc.

To counter this gender imbalance, it is important to encourage women and gender minorities’ empowerment.


This would improve the representation of different realities within the workers of the live music sector thus enriching the live music sector and, by a trickling effect, society as a whole.

Yet, there are some barriers in implementing a real gender equality in the live music sector:



  • lack of data on gender equality in the live music workforce
  • lack of visibility of women and gender minorities working in live music
  • lack of legitimity felt by women and gender minorities to work in the live music sector, especially in leadership positions and/or positions considered as "manly"

These are reasons why many of our members have developed programmes focusing on the empowerement of cultural workers part of gender minorities.

Find in the next slides initiatives focusing on gender diversity and inclusion for the workers of the live music sector.


WAH! consists in a resource platform, with content aimed to reflect on, observe and analyse the situation of women and gender minorities working in the French live music sector. The platform valorises existing initiatives working on gender equality within the live music sector for people to get inspired and share best practice.

WAH! is also a mentoring programme: experienced women offer guidance to women who wish to develop their career and exchange on what it means to be a woman working in live music. This mentoring programme is not a mere sharing of experience but rather an impulse for women to listen to each other and be solidary.

Music Venue Trust and PRS Foundation have developed a programme to encourage more young women and gender minorities to break into promoting live music.



Fightback: Grassroots Promoter offers training, mentoring and practical support to young women and gender minorities who are passionate about live music and want to learn the skills to become an independent promoter.

Music Venue Trust explain the genesis of their project:



"In the past couple of years there has been a lot of discussion of the need to offer more opportunities for women, trans and non-binary artists. Alongside this, a change in the make-up of the bookers and promoters of live music events is needed to ensure that the rich diversity of music in the UK is represented and shared with audiences.


The pilot phase demonstrated that new promoters with fresh ideas tend to bring forward exciting and sometimes surprising line-ups, offering opportunities for artists to play in venues they might not previously have had a relationship with."

SCIVIAS is a project impulsed by several music organisations from Wallonia-Brussels in Belgium.


The idea of SCIVIAS came after the observation of implicit and explicit discriminations against women and gender minorities within the Belgian live music sector.

The organisations part of SCIVIAS wish to increase the visibility of women at all levels of the music sector (artists, workers, leadership positions).


The organisations who take part in SCIVIAS have to sign a charter. When signing it, the organisations committ:

  • to affirm the existence of discriminations against women within the live music sector
  • to actively give visibility to this issue, notably by gendering the data they produce
  • to report on the actions they have developed to counter this gender imbalance
  • to learn from their actions and put into place an action plan to continue them in the future years (use of inclusive language, data-visibility of women and gender minorities, appointing of a person in charge of "gender equality" within their teams...)

Mujeres de la Industria de la Música (Women of the Music Industry) is a Spanish organisation whose goal is to increase visibility of women working in the music sector.


They advocate for better representation of women in the music sector.

Through open letters and panels, they raise awareness on the gender imbalance of the music sector in Spain.

On their website, they have also established a list of contacts for women artists and music professionals in order to give them more visibility and impulse a movement of sorority among women working in the music sector.

The Diversity Roadmap is a tool created by PETZI, the Swiss live music association, in collaboration with the Swiss music and feminist associations Helvetiarockt, Flirt Don’t Hurt, Sensability and We Can Dance It.


It aims at working for safer live music spaces as well as better diversity and representation of minorities in the live music sector sector.

This tool, which does not consist in a must-have list to be a "good club" helps you evaluate the composition of your teams, your programming practices and your communication regarding diversity.

"Our society is diverse: this should also be reflected on and behind the stages, in the audience and in the organisational structures.

The Diversity Roadmap describes simple recommendations and possible measures to take into account diversity and gender equality in live music venues, clubs and festivals."

The Diversity Roadmap also offers definitions of concepts linked to gender and to diversity: