In part 1 and part 2 of this series, we offered several organizations designed to provide opportunities and advocate for women and gender-diverse people in the music industry. From composers and producers to educators and musicians, people of all disciplines can find something useful to them – be it a grant program, an educational resource, a performance or networking opportunity, and beyond.
That being said, with still such a long way to level the playing field with our male counterparts, we figured there can never be too many resources. So, in the third and final part of our series, we introduce you to three more excellent organizations that are putting in the much-needed work towards building equity for women in the music industry.
International Alliance for Women in Music
The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) has been championing the equity and promotion of women across all genres and disciplines of the music industry since 1995, with members ranging from composers, recording engineers, producers, publishers, educators, conductors, to many other creative lines of work.
Their work includes:
- Fighting against discrimination to bring about more inclusive and equitable opportunities.
- Advocating for more visibility and programming in the community.
- Amplifying women’s voices by publishing industry reports, research, and articles.
- Providing valuable opportunities and resources such as concerts, competitions, conferences, and grants through their programs,
Members can apply for the organization’s various awards and grant programs, such as the annual “Search for New Music” (SNM), a global competition for female and non-binary composers. There are over ten prize categories each year and the submission period is typically between March and May. Other programs by the IAWM are available for artists, scholars, educators, solo performers, ensembles, and arts organizations.
Additional initiatives include the IAWM Conference which takes place every three years in different locations around the world (the next one occurring in 2025), the Annual Concert each fall, and the Radio Request campaign to support broadcasts of music by women. The AIWM also publishes a quarterly Journal and the Beyond the Notes webinar series which is open to the public.
As a member, you can access all of these incredible resources. Membership types include Student ($30), Senior ($45), Professional ($65), Institutional ($65), Supporting ($95), and Lifetime ($1,000).
The SOCAN Foundation is a branch of Canada’s performing rights organization, SOCAN, and its mission is to “foster, sustain, and promote the creation of Canadian music”. They offer several grants, awards, and programs for Canadian artists and organizations, such as a Travel Assistance Program, an Indigenous Song Camp, and the Black Canadian Music Awards.
There are two offers in particular that are geared towards female-identifying creators and producers. The first is the Her Music Awards, an annual award that honours and supports music makers who are ready to bring their career to the next level, by awarding recipients with a grant of $5000 each. Winners are chosen by a jury made up of distinguished Canadian music creators, and in consultation with Bandzoogle, the awards’ sponsor. The two key components of the application are an original musical work created within the last three years, and a written proposal of how the grant money would help support the development of the applicant’s career. The 2023 deadline is still to be determined, but should be before the end of the year.
The second program for women and gender-diverse people is the Equity X Production Mentorship Program. It was created after the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that female producers only account for 2.1% of music producers represented in the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart songs between 2012 and 2018 (the latest report shows that number has scarcely improved, coming in at 3.4% in 2022!). In order to combat this serious disparity, the SOCAN Foundation’s mentorship program offers an opportunity for creators with little to no production experience to learn the foundations of producing from accomplished female mentors over the course of six weeks. The program is offered in French and English, and accepts applicants from across Canada.
She Shreds Media
She Shreds Media is an organization dedicated to educating, empowering, and inspiring women and gender non-confirming guitarists and bassists, but also has a lot of great content and resources for all music industry players.
“She Shreds is a community-driven, comprehensive answer to guitar culture and music media […] Their vision is to continuously refine, redefine, and reimagine the possibilities of how music connects us, ensuring an inclusive and accessible music community 100% of the time.”
– She Shreds website
This multimedia platform has everything from educational articles and informative news posts to fascinating interviews and playful horoscopes (or as they call it, “audioscopes”). Not to mention a merch shop, a print and digital magazine, and an array of other digital content such as performance videos, contests, Q&As, and their B2B (“Back 2 Back”) series which promotes community through first-time collaborations between guitarists/bassists and singers/rappers/producers.
They also offer the She Shreds Curriculum, a series of virtual presentations covering a wide range of topics. Each month, music industry creatives host two sessions in which you can learn the material at your own pace, and then attend live virtual workshops and Q&A sessions. Tip: for anyone seeking teaching opportunities, you can also submit to teach your own Curriculum session!
Bonus: Girls Rock Camp Alliance
For the next generation: Girls Rock Camp Alliance is an international network of summer camps, workshops, and after-school programs that empower girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming youth through music education and community building. There are chapters all over the world, including Montreal and Toronto.
Text written by Andria Piperni
Illustration by Yihong Guo