Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2018: Morna Cook

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2018: Morna Cook

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...

MORNA COOK
SENIOR DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES, UNIVERSAL MUSIC UK

How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?

“Truly honoured to be alongside these exceptional women being celebrated for their hard work, contribution and achievements.”

How did you get into the music business?

“I moved from Scotland to London to get into the music business. I used to promote and run dance nights up there whilst at university and know this made my CV stand out, particularly in HR. I did my research and knew which recruitment agencies worked closely with the music industry – after stints in HR in TV, radio and fashion I made my move.”

Did you have a mentor or role model who helped or inspired you in the early part of your career?

“I now fully appreciate what a fantastic role model and inspiration my mum was. I’d like to think that her work ethic and positivity rubbed off on me!”

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?

“It feels normal now but we stuck our necks out when we launched our paid intern scheme in 2009. It was the first among record companies and the wider creative industries. It’s been a genuine game-changer in creating opportunities for talented people of all backgrounds. I’m proud we made it happen.”

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 UK music?

“From where I sit, we are already at the point where there is parity of opportunity and I’m very positive about the future - we have fantastic women moving up the ranks to join the brilliant female leaders we already have across the business.”

Have things improved during your career? And what more needs to be done?

“There are a lot more senior women sitting round the table than when I joined the industry. There’s also been a transformation at the mid-level of management – ensuring those brilliant women continue to progress to senior level is why we’ve put so much focus on our mentoring and development programmes and family-friendly policies.”

The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries continues to dominate the news agenda. Is the music business doing enough to tackle the problem?

“From a label perspective it’s about having robust procedures, being clear about what is acceptable and fostering a culture where people feel comfortable to speak up about any issues.”

What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in the music business?

“It’s the same advice I’d give to any young executive – graft, network, be yourself and, as the question implies, try and enjoy it! I’d also add that good relationships and collaboration are key – play to your strengths but always be a team player.”

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