BerkleeICE and Women in Music Partner on New Study

By 
Tori Donahue
June 8, 2018
Press release
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Erin Barra, an associate professor at Berklee and board director of Women In Music, formulated the project, which focuses on the current status of gender equity across a broad spectrum of women working in the U.S. music industry.
Image courtesy of Women In Music via Medium.

The Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) and Women in Music (WIM), the longest running and largest nonprofit organization for women in the music industry, have partnered to conduct the first study in the U.S. that will explore the socioeconomic landscape of women in the U.S. music industry. Building upon research conducted by Women In Music Canada in Ontario in 2015, the purpose of this study is to provide a current snapshot of women working in the American music industry. The study will consist of two published documents, beginning with the release of the survey, open now through July 15, which will collect data regarding demographics, employment and challenges/opportunities in the workplace, and which will conclude with the release of a report detailing the results.

“We find ourselves at a tipping point where women have been empowered to play a more equal role, but still face considerable obstacles. Currently, very few statistics exist that relate to women in the music industry in the United States. The data that does exist is niche or without context,” says Erin Barra, an associate professor at Berklee and WIM board director who formulated this project.

“We have a strong record of preparing talented women for careers as performers, composers, sound designers, producers, educators, businesswomen, therapists, and more,” says Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “We are committed to continue creating a more equitable music industry for the next generation of musicians and leaders.”

“Over the last 30+ years, Women in Music has proudly provided resources and a strong community for our members' personal and professional growth," describes Women in Music Vice President Jennifer Newman Sharpe. "We are now an all-volunteer staff of 120 people working daily to provide resources to thousands of women across 13 chapters and to host 50+ events annually. This partnership and study will provide us with valuable tools and knowledge that we need to continue to support our community.”

Women in Music President Jessica Sobhraj explains, “Being as deeply involved in the fight for equality as we are, we have noticed the lack of critical data in the U.S. regarding these inequalities. By partnering with BerkleeICE to conduct this survey, it is our hope that the data uncovered will encourage all of the stakeholders in our industry to take action to fix these glaring inequalities and to create a more inclusive community for everyone.”

In addition to providing the public with factual, current information and a clearer understanding of the socioeconomic status of women in the American music industry, the study also aims to identify the current opportunities and challenges faced by women in the music industry and contribute in a meaningful way to closing the gender gap that exists within the industry.

About BerkleeICE

Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), an initiative within Berklee College of Music, is designed to inspire, educate, and launch the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. BerkleeICE helps prepare graduates for careers as entrepreneurs; fosters the creation of new products, services and businesses in the creative industry; and inspires disruptive ideas through musical creativity and crossdiscipline collaboration.

About Women in Music

Women in Music is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1985 in New York City to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts and industry through education, networking resources, support, empowerment, and recognition.