As the Music Week Women In Music Awards return on November 9, so too does the Roll Of Honour, recognising outstanding achievements across all corners of the industry. Join us as we gather this year's inductees to hear their remarkable stories...
MANAGING DIRECTOR, GLASSNOTE RECORDS
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?
“I feel honoured to be honoured! I’m really excited about it – I think the Awards generate a lot of really interesting, thoughtful and positive coverage and I would have benefited from this myself in my earlier years in the industry. So I hope that the up-and-coming female execs out there are as inspired by this event as much as I am!”
How did you get into the music business?
“I set my sights on music marketing as a young teen, having wandered in to a record shop, picked up a copy of Hole’s Celebrity Skin and thought, ‘It must be someone’s job to help make people aware of these great records and artists. I would love to do that!’ So I went off to study marketing at university. During this time I wrote to 22 record labels asking for an internship. A wonderful marketing director called Elyse Taylor responded and I started a placement at East West Records a few months later. I fell in love with the business at that moment and have never looked back.”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped or inspired you in the early part of your career?
“I was lucky enough to have several in the early days – those who taught me that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, put their trust and faith in me, allowed me to grow, to push myself and invested in my career progression. I’d like to mention and thank David Joseph, Karen Simmonds and Jim Chancellor here in particular. I also think mentors are invaluable at every stage in your career. Daniel Glass entrusted me with running his UK company in 2016, and it’s a real pleasure to work with someone who is so committed to artist development and growing a family team. I learn something valuable from him every day and I’m very proud of our relationship.”
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career?
“I am lucky enough to have several, and to have been part of some phenomenal teams! Elbow winning the Mercury Music Prize and filling arenas across the UK, Lana Del Rey achieving huge global success and Jade Bird being recognised in the BBC Sound Of 2018 list are just a few so far…”
Some of the gender pay gap figures for the music industry made for sobering reading. How far away is parity of opportunity and remuneration for women in the UK music industry?
“They did make for sobering reading, but I’m so glad they were published. I think this is the first big step forward for positive change. I don’t know how far away full parity is – I hope significant change is immediate and that the issues are being treated with the urgency they deserve. All music companies have a duty to address and correct pay disparity – everyone at every level should feel accountable and remain conscious that we still have a way to go.”
Have things improved? What more needs to be done?
“Things have improved since the late ’90s. I was lucky enough to have grown up in the industry around several inspiring women and men, who supported my career development. I know that it’s not necessarily the case for everyone, so I’m very grateful for being taught early on that I deserved a seat at the table. Daniel Glass and I talk a lot about fairness and family. At Glassnote, our global gender split fluctuates between 50-65% women, which I’m very proud of. It really does bring a tangible balance to our creative decision making. Our entire team in LA is made up of incredibly talented women and many of the key jobs in our New York office are held by brilliant women too. We also have a lot of strong, inspiring women on our UK roster – Jade Bird and Lily and Meg from Ider in particular.”
The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries continues to dominate the news agenda. Is the music biz doing enough to tackle the problem?
“Ultimately, every employee in every workplace, everywhere should feel safe. Within the entertainment industries we need to do more to tackle the problem, although I do believe we are taking the right steps forward. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these issues with each other and I feel that now this is on the agenda and being openly discussed, we can take more positive steps to eradicate the problem.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in the music business?
“Never, ever give up and always believe in yourself. You deserve a seat at the table. Find a mentor – people will be delighted to help and offer advice.”