'It can be difficult to catch a break': The Women In Music Awards Roll Of Honour 2018 on their biggest challenges in the biz

'It can be difficult to catch a break': The Women In Music Awards Roll Of Honour 2018 on their biggest challenges in the biz

In the latest issue of Music Week, we celebrate the 12 industry game changers who are being inducted onto the Roll Of Honour at tomorrow's hotly-anticipated Music Week Women In Music Awards.

The dozen new names join more than 50 star executives who have previously been inducted from around the music business and are drawn from across the breadth of the industry, from management, PR and radio, to labels, live and HR.

Here we ask the latest inductees about the biggest challenges they have overcome and the ones they are currently facing...

Jane Arthy, VP of radio, Warner Bros Records

"The biggest challenges are usually the things that keep the job evolving and fresh so they’re not necessarily a bad thing. For example, when I started the job radio meant just audio. Now it means multi-platform and visual opportunities which is a totally new way of working and allows us to be much more creative and have more reach. Incorporating streaming into our plugging and strategy is another learning curve that can be a challenge, but crucial and we’re excited to make that really work."

Emma Bownes, programming director, The O2 and SSE Arena, Wembley

“Trying to be a good parent and be around for my kids, whilst also trying to stay on top of a very busy job.” 

Wozzy Brewster, founder and executive director, The Midi Music Company

"Attracting investment for MMC, especially within the first four years, but then we became an NPO for Arts Council England, London, and Lewisham Council invested revenue funds, along with grants from Tom’s Trust. We hit a massive cashflow problem in our 17th year and the high street bank wouldn’t help us. Thanks to CAF Venturesome we were able to rectify our finances and we now can look forward to our 25th anniversary in 2020. Convincing corporates to invest in music education and artist development can be difficult at times." 

Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers Forum 

"I had one role in my career that didn’t work out for me and I was very miserable at work impacting my self-worth. I took the very scary decision at the time to walk away, despite not having anything else to go to at the time. I’m so glad I did, as the next role was amazing and led to this."

Morna Cook, senior director, HR, Universal Music UK

"I’m lucky to have worked in a company which has always had a progressive approach to HR, with fantastically supportive leaders, but I can’t pretend there haven’t been times of frustration that the wider culture of the industry, and certainly its reputation as a place to work, was stuck. Thankfully, there’s been a sea change in recent years."

Liz Goodwin, MD, Glassnote Records

"Within such a fast paced and ever evolving industry, it has to be adapting and changing the way we approach artist development, audience growth and engagement on a global scale. I love the challenge and process of rethinking and recalibrating the way we look at campaigns and measures of success on a regular basis."

Nadia Khan, artist manager; founder, Women in CTRL, CTRL Music/Dench Records

"Getting into the industry, getting that first foot in the door was extremely hard for me. And because of my financial background being able to do work experience on just travel costs was really tough and I had to take a weekend job in the first year of my career. Also, being accepted as a female manager. There were no other female managers in grime when I started and it was hard to be accepted by my peers. The record label that signed Bizzle vetoed me being part of the team initially as they felt I was too inexperienced and young – so fighting to be kept on Bizzle’s team was a big challenge for me."

Abbie McCarthy, presenter, BBC Music Introducing; curator, Good Karma Club

"I found starting out the hardest time because it can be difficult to catch a break. I remember sending hundreds of emails and applying for lots of work experiences placements and just hearing nothing back, so sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and remain tenacious. Also, lots of the radio stuff and work experience I was doing at the time was unpaid, so I was working in a fast food restaurant to make money."

Harriet Moss, MD, Manners McDade

"When Catherine [Manners] asked me to be MD of Manners McDade earlier this year, it was like the launch of the most exciting and challenging adventure I’ve ever been on. It’s a great new role for me and has challenges both day-to-day, and in managing and progressing the business. We have a fantastic roster to work with and a great team in the office, it’s a very thriving environment."

Megan Page, coordinator, Record Store Day & National Album Day, Entertainment Retailers Association

“Being young and being taken seriously in the industry can be a difficulty on occasions. Many people still seem to think that vinyl is an exclusive club for men so I’ve probably had to work harder to prove myself and my role in the industry. However, on the whole, I can honestly say that I’ve been very lucky in that I work with a really great team who are very supportive and all fantastic at what they do – I’ve not yet had to face any huge challenges and I’m hoping it stays that way!" 

Vanessa Reed, CEO, PRS Foundation 

"Working out how to manage the huge demand for our funding from talented people who need our help. This is the one thing we’re still working out and the one thing that drives me when I’m seeking new funding and partners who can help us meet this growing need."

Taponeswa Mavunga, head of publicity, Columbia Records UK

"Balancing motherhood with a career." 

This year’s Roll Of Honour star on the cover of the new edition of Music Week, out now, and all 12 are interviewed inside. All inductees will be honoured on stage at tomorrow's completely sold-out ceremony. Stay tuned to Music Week's social media and musicweek.com for live updates from the ceremony.

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