Industry Insights

Industry Insight: Study Finds Women Not Represented in Popular Music


DID YOU KNOW: Across the top 700 songs from 2012-2018, only 21% of artists and 12% of songwriters were women, while only 2% of tracks were produced by women? 


For this month’s #IndustryInsights, we’re sharing the kinda depressing findings of a study on gender representation in music by USC Annenburg’s Inclusion Initiative. The study found that women are not even close to being represented in popular music.


Between 2013-2019, only 10% of Grammy nominees were women. While males were the majority of nominees in each category, females were most likely to be nominated for Best New Artist, followed by Song of the Year. In the Record and Album of the Year categories, fewer than 10% of nominees were women. 

Female artists noted the barriers they face in the industry, including difficulty navigating the industry; breaking into the business; making connections and getting into different rooms. Other challenges included financial instability; having their skills discounted; and being stereotyped & sexualized.


To generate industry change, the report recommends creating environments where women are welcome; generating opportunities for women to use their skills and talents; ensuring that role models and mentorships are available to women; and for the industry to commit to considering and hiring more women - in other words, inclusion targets and inclusion riders. 


What do you think about these findings? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative for more stats about gender in the entertainment industry!