Last night (January 17) several top producers and engineers gathered at London’s City Hall to participate in AIM’s (Association Of Independent Musicians) Women In Music conference, where a lively Women In The Studio panel saw speakers discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the studio sector.
Speakers included producer and engineer Steph Marziano (Denai Moore, Mumford & Sons), Dr Mariana Lopez (lecturer in Sound Production and Post Production, University of York), engineer Isabel Gracefield Grundy (Emeli Sande, Tom Odell), mixer Marta Salogni (Bjork, Sampha), mastering engineer Kate Tavini, Women Produce Music founder Katia Isakoff panel chair producer K-Minor.
Salogni, who recently spoke to PSNEurope about her career to date as a mix engineer, revealed that she still encounters sexism within the confines of that studio, calling on anyone who experiences or witnesses it to actively take a stand: “You need to call out sexism when you encounter it,” she stated during the session.
Meanwhile, fellow engineer Isabel Gracefield Grundy, suggested that there is now an opportunity for female studio professionals to gain recognition in their field on account of sector’s historical male dominance. “When people want to work with a woman – you’re not another Mark or John – you have a visibility that’s really advantageous,” she commented.
Throughout the evening there was also a keynote address entitled ‘Diversity is Good For You’ from UK Music Diversity Taskforce Co-Chair Paulette Long OBE (Westbury Music), along with an interview with former Spice Girl Melanie C conducted by Mark Sutherland, editor of PSNEurope sister title Music Week, which saw the pop megastar note that, while the number of iconic female artists has risen significantly since her former band instigated the girl power phenomenon of the mid-‘90s, the number of women working in prominent studio or record label roles remains negligible.
Bringing proceedings to a close was a panel dubbed ‘Female Entrepreneurship in Music’, which featured a selection of female music business founders discussing how and why they established their own company and how they’ve achieved success.