Keychange Collaborates with Annie Mac on new Smirnoff Equalising Music Pledge

Annie Mac heads up the latest initiative from SMIRNOFF’s “Equalising Music” campaign – the ‘Equalising Music Pledge’ – challenging each and every person in the music industry to do one significant thing for gender equality in 2019

Annie  Mac  announces  the  launch  of  the  Equalising Music Pledge, a movement to shift the diversity dial and push for greater gender balance in the music industry.

The  Equalising  Music  Pledge  is the latest move by Smirnoff Equalising Music, a three-year, global, multi-million  pound  campaign  to  accelerate  gender  parity  in  the  music  industry.  Endorsed  by  the  PRS Foundation’s  influential  Keychange  initiative  and  supported  by  Coda,  Equalising  Music  is  calling  on everyone in the music industry to take direct action on gender equality, with Annie Mac challenging the industry at large to do one thing in 2019 to make music a more equal place through the Equalising Music Pledge.

Commenting on the launch, Annie Mac said:

“I  am  delighted  to  be  teaming  up  with  Smirnoff  Equalising  Music  and PRS Foundation’s Keychange to head up the Equalising Music campaign. Together we have the tools and the reach to make a real impact here in the UK. The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity. We are all acutely aware of the enormous contribution women make to this business, and yet there’s still so much work  to  be  done  to  ensure  they’re  embraced  and  championed, both in front of and behind the scenes. Contributing  towards  trying  to  change  this  is  something  I  personally  feel  passionately  about,  and  I’m genuinely  excited  to  see  the  future impact women of all ages will have on the unchartered territories of this rapidly changing industry.”

Since  Smirnoff  first  launched  Equalising  Music  in 2017, there has been a growing response to the vital need  for  inclusivity  and  representation  for  women  both  on  stage  and  behind  the  scenes.  The  music industry  is  beginning  to  take  action  against  long-embedded,  industry-wide  inequality  and initiatives like PRS  Foundation’s  Keychange  have  fuelled  a  growing awareness of the issues women face and driven affirmative action, empowering women to transform the future of the music industry and persuading more than 150 festivals to fulfil a 50/50 gender balance across their lineups.

Whilst progress across the industry is encouraging, lack of diversity is still an industry-wide problem. Only

17% of PRS for Music’s registered songwriters are female, the gender pay gap at major music companies averaged at 30% and only 15% of labels are majority owned by women.  With  some way to go before women  are  afforded  the  same  opportunities  as  their male counterparts and artists are no longer talked about  in  terms  of  their gender, this next phase of the Equalising Music initiative encourages everyone – from club and festival bookers to artists, industry leaders and music fans –  to step up and do one thing to ensure a gender-balanced future.

Sam Salameh, Head of Smirnoff said:

“Smirnoff set up Equalising in Music in 2017 because the music industry had been sidelining female talent for  too  long.  So  far  we’ve  raised  awareness  of  unconscious bias  towards  female  artists  with  Spotify,redressed  the  gender  imbalance  at  festivals  including  Wireless,  Lost  Village  and  Snowbombing  and empowered the next generation of female talent through a series of DJ and mentorship workshops. And we’re continuing to put our money where our mouth is. This year we’re proud to be partnering with Annie Mac,   one   of   the   UK’s   leading   music   tastemakers   and   an   artist  widely  known  for  championing gender-balance,  on  the  Equalising  Music  Pledge.  We  all  know the statistics so now it’s time for action. Together  – and proudly endorsed by PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative –   we’re asking everyone in the industry to step up and do one significant thing for gender equality in 2019.”

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and Founder of Keychange, said:

“We’re  excited  to  see  Annie  Mac  working  with  Smirnoff  to  engage  even  more  people  from  across  the music industry in positive actions towards gender equality. Keychange has now united over 150 festivalsfrom across the world in a pledge towards gender balance by 2022 and we’re delighted that Annie’s AMP festival  is  one  of  our  signatories.  Annie’s  new  call  for  action,  which encourages anyone working in the music industry to do one tangible thing for gender equality, will get more people in music thinking about the benefits of a more balanced workforce. This will help us to achieve the change we all want to see for the next generation of men and women considering a career in an industry that should be open to all.”

Alex Hardee, Special Agent at Coda, commented:

“Coda  is  happy  to  align  with  Smirnoff Equalising Music as we feel strongly about working with the best talent (artists and staff) whatever the gender, so when the Equalising Music pledges kick in and we as an industry collective create more opportunity, that will be genuinely exciting.”

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