This year, the Grammys saw a nomination for a woman producer, Linda Perry, for the first time since 2003. Last year, a report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative revealed that in the pop landscape over the last six years, among the most popular songs only 2% were produced by women and women made up only 3% of engineers working on those projects.
The Recording Academy's Task Force on Diversion and Inclusivity announced a project today aimed at closing that gap and getting more women into the studio — behind the board.
Headed by former Michelle Obama Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen, the Task Force announced this new initiative that requests those responsible for hiring producers and engineers make their decision "only after considering a slate of candidates that includes at least two women." Further, it encourages "working producers to take gender diversity challenges in music’s technical fields into account when determining who to mentor and prepare for development and advancement opportunities."
Some 200 artists (including but not limited to Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Halsey, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Post Malone, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, P!nk, Pharrell, Shawn Mendes), labels, management companies, and producers signed on to support it at press time.
"I've been very fortunate in my career to surround myself with powerful female figures," Katy Perry said in the press release. "I'm proud to have a female engineer run my own Unsub Studios. I pledge to support this great initiative to provide even more opportunity to talented female producers and engineers."
Now, on to the next frontier: more women executives at record labels and managers of artists.