Like many media sectors, the music industry has traditionally been male dominated. However, award-winning online school Berklee College of Music is committed to contribute to a more gender-balanced music sector, by making conscious efforts to increase its numbers of female students, staff and instructors.
As the largest online music college in the world, Berklee recognises its potential to profoundly change the future of the music industry. And this change is starting from the top, with female CEO Debbie Cavalier being one of nine women in key leadership roles, compared to only two female leaders on staff in 2006. “Increasing the rate of female students, staff and instructors is a necessary step to ensure that more women are represented in the future of the music industry and those who lead it,” said Ms Cavalier.
“The potential impacts of this re-orientation are not to be underestimated. This is because the behind-the-scenes processes in the composition, production or selection of the music we as consumers listen to, are subject to individual choice. Therefore, the individual media workers making these choices have significant agency and power in determining what music we get to hear.”
These decisions depend on who they are, and on who they imagine their audience to be – which is likely to be quite different, depending on your gender. Consequently, there is a lot to be gained by being gender-diverse, as this is likely to drive innovation, and to increase the variety of music we are able to enjoy.
Clearly, their approach is music to students’ ears, with female enrolment increasing by 65% in the last two years, quickly catching up with their male counterparts’, with enrolments at 31% and 32% respectively. With many of Berklee’s staff and students involved in high-profile projects, including the composition of music for blockbuster Captain Marvel, we no doubt have a lot to listen forward to.
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