This August we were invited to Pop Kultur 2017 where we met an amazing crowd of people who helped us start work on writing a new rulebook for the music industry. What you are reading here is only the first step: We would encourage all of you to give us some feedback and ideas to help us with this – it is still very much a work in progress and we need your help to improve it! The workshops were led byMelissa Perales, Caoimhe McAlister and Mirca Lotz from We Make Waves and songwriter and artist profiler Jovanka von Wilsdorf, the press manager and curator Sandra Passaro and the singer-songwriter Kristin Amparo – a big thanks to them for their great input!
Writing A New Rulebook For The Music Industry
Gender equality is only possible if men and women work together to bring this about – inclusion is important. Things can only change if those in power (ie men) help to change the status quo. Unfortunately, reaching equality quotas still seems to be necessary, as society in general has not made enough progress in the past on its own. Every publicly-funded project should adhere to a 50:50 quota. Remember to also check your own quotas when it comes to recommending or hiring people.
Talk to other women about your experiences in the workplace – the “good” stuff as well as the “bad”: Your achievements will help to encourage others. Speaking about the challenges can also help transform feelings of being “helpless” or even “ashamed” into something more positive and empowering, should a similar “bad” situation arise in the future.
Get feedback – dare to ask for help and make good use of available networks. You don’t need to know everything yourselfmoften it is more the question of who do I know that I can ask for advise! Take your own work seriously and be proud of it. Make yourself aware of your self worth – don’t give up before you have even tried! Confidence is a key component to being a good work partner, ally or mentor.
Make sure you get credit for your work (also remember to give credit to other women’s work when it is due). Women still tend to end up on the “thank you” list, even when important work has been done. History is what gets written down! We need more female role models. We also need to be visible as role models in order to inspire the next generation.
Learn to take criticism (and use it to improve yourself) but don’t take any sexist bullshit. As Sexism is still a big problem in the workplace, solidarity is very important. In any stressful situation, look for an ally or be someone’s ally! Stand up for one another and speak out especially if you’re in a position of influence. Bad habits will only change if people are called out on their bad behavior but always do it in a constructive and respectful way. At the same time, never stop looking at your own work and behavior, keeping in mind that no one is perfect and we ourselves also need to be aware of things that we can improve.
Language matters! We should be aware that the everyday use of certain labels can have an enormous impact on society. Try to avoid labels such as fe/male or beautiful (instead of talented for example) when referring to artists, as these have no real relevance to the artist’s work, but are rather outside constructions that take the focus away from the important things. Open up a discourse on these matters. Don’t try to beat people down with arguments, rather try and make them understand by pointing out different meanings and viewpoints, or by asking them about their own views.
Education is important – educate yourself about the topic and help others to do so too. Try not to be condescending, but rather be supportive of people who are trying to learn more about these issues. Be supportive of young(er) people just starting out. Make aware and be aware – try to be fun about it! Listen to other people’s experiences.
Look at the history of Feminism, why is it seen the way it is today? Think about how can we change how it is often perceived as a negative position, to a positive one. And always keep in mind: complaints do not create change, focus on the strategies for change instead!
Last but not least: Let’s all help in creating a safe(r) space(s) for everyone!