Evening the Odds for Men & Women in the Music Industry
My response to the NewMusicBox blogpost: Why Women Aren’t Equals In New Music Leadership and Innovation
Women are not treated on equal footing in either the corporate or music world and much of this is outlined in the article above. Social stigmas go a long way to treating women unfavorably for exhibiting the same behavior as men - while men get favorable treatment for the same behavior (see #1 from the Sandberg research). Many of the other elements discussed in the research can be put up to cultural stereo types and environmental learning we foist on our young men and women as they grow up, putting women at a further disadvantage. One key to getting out of this hole we have dug for ourselves, at least in the music industry, is finding a way to give musicians a chance at success without regard to anything but their performance.
TwtrSymphony holds auditions for musicians. There is no discussion as to sex, race, religion or other aspects of the musician. All we require are two things:
1) Ability to create a quality recording for the music they are given
2) A willingness to be active on social media to promote themselves and the orchestra
and this last one is a bit nebulous as to what we really mean by active.
We also held a Call for Scores from December to March in which we had over 130 submissions. Again, the only consideration was their music.
The point is, we don't discriminate. Two of our musicians are blind. I only know this because they require some additional tweaking of their parts. Otherwise, they do fine work getting their recordings in. I know many of the musicians personally (although we've never met) because we chat on Twitter and occasionally exchange emails. When I was reading the above article, I wondered how many women we have playing with TwtrSymphony, and honestly, I couldn't answer that question. I would have to go through our list person by person to determine who fits into which category. I just don't care. For what we do, this is irrelevant information. If we have more male musicians or more male composers it's because that's the result of the music created.
We are trying to do things differently—to think of making music in ways that have never been done before. I am happy to say one side benefit is we are also proving to be shed of any stereo-types getting in the way of making good music.
Please support us and our Kickstarter - to raise funds for a new music CD. Thanks for your support.