Inclusion in the Recording Studio?

Women in Music

In recent years there has been a fascinating study released around inclusion in the music industry. The study was completed by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti & Dr. Katherine Pieper.

The study seeks to combine industry engagement, research and advocacy to study inclusion in music. The desired outcome of the study create a change in the hiring practices of underrepresented groups in the industry of music.

For the study the group analyzed the gender and race of the artists, songwriters and producers. The sample was taken from 600 popular songs from 2021 – 2017. This represented a total of 1,239 artists from the selected period.

Findings Around inclusion of women in the music industry

There were some solid findings in the study.

To start, taking a look at female artists for the popular songs selected showed on 16.8% were from woman in 2017.

Women also only represented 12.3% of songwriters for the cumulative total from the years of 2012 – 2017. This is compared to 87.7% of men having songwriting credits during the timeframe.

Taking a look at production of the top 300 most popular songs the ratio of women to men was 1 to 49.

In summary, we can see that women represented only 22.4% of the artists, 12.3% of the songwriters and a dismal 2% of producers. Although a small sample this really makes one realize how underrepresented the influence of women is in today’s popular music.

To further illustrate, a look at awards were conducted for the years 2012 – 2017 using the Grammys as the sample. During these years, only 9.3% of the nominees were females. Of the nominees, here is how the numbers break down for major categories.

  • Record of the Year = 7.9%
  • Album of the Year = 6.1%
  • Song of the Year = 21.3%
  • Best New Artist = 36.4%
  • Producer of the Year = 0%

Complete details of the study can be found here or by following the study on twitter @Inclusionists