On Friday, 8th March, International Womxn's Day was kicked off in style as WXMB 2 x Global
Radio hosted a truly inspirational event ironically on Global's central London roof terrace (no glass ceilings in sight!). We heard from a range of established and successful womxn across various areas of the music industry, to talk all things music and "girl power".
Following the over spam of #IWD on my Instagram timeline, it was refreshing to actually hear from some boss ladies about their experiences of being womxn in the industry and also their tips on how we can collectively shape the industry into a better balanced world where
opportunities are won with hard work, not testosterone levels.
Katie Bowden (Commercial Group Business Director at Global), Xanthe Fuller (Head of
Community at Mixcloud) and Petra Kluk (Head of Operations at Islington Assembly Hall) all
inspirational leaders in their own right, discussed the building of a better world. They opened up about their entry into the music industry and the challenges associated with entering a male dominated world. Katie went as far to mention that she was first warned off of applying for the "man's job" which eventually led to her becoming Commercial Group Business Director at Global, the first of her kind. Her success as well as all of the panellists truly demonstrates that hard work and consistency can pay off.
It also became clear early on that the music industry has taken a step in the right direction as Xanthe highlights Mixcloud's more than reasonable maternity policy as well as their flexible working hours. Although, whilst we have more opportunities to work flexibly, Katie highlighted that there is still plenty of work to be done and the imbalance of men at the top of organisations in the music industry is a concrete example of that.
Photo credit @jonmophotography
The second panel of the evening focused on the future of the industry, and more importantly, the opportunities for inspirational young womxn to *queue overused but still true Ghandi quote* real talk, be the change we would like to see in this influential industry. Lauren Stone (Group Head Strategic Partnerships at Global Festivals & Events), Amanda Maxwell (Head of Community at shesaid.so) and Faye Williams (Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Universal Music Group) lead the discussion on how important it is to support your fellow sister. Faye made it clear that her female mentor really accelerated her drive and the opportunities to get to where she is across all of her roles. Too often, we are so focused on getting ahead, we forget to support the other amazing womxn around us, if we all share a little more positivity, imagine the difference it we can make!
The question on everybody's lips is how do we get where they are? There is no easy fix or
shortcut. The answer is hard work and connections. Stay true to your trade and be persistent, eventually, people will notice. Petra noted that all of her jobs have come through people that she knows. There are some amazing and specialised networks out there to help people meet people outside of their networks, such as shesaid.so. So come on people, if it's opportunities you're after, do some research and test out your professional courting techniques, whether it’s asking someone for coffee over LinkedIn or a networking panel event such as this one, get yourself out there and mingle like a pringle!
Photo credit @jonmophotography
In traditional IWD style, I'm going to emphasise the celebration of female success and the
distance we have come alongside the space to continue to improve. We need to carry on these
conversations past IWD and in fact, start opening the floor up to men more. They too need to be involved if we are going to make better and balanced opportunities in the music industry and in the world.
Thanks to Niks Delanancy of WXMB 2 and Global, who put on such a well thought out event and opened the floor to a WXMB 2 x Global panel. It was great to have such a platform, followed by a female line up at NT's Bar/Netil House to support the up and coming female DJ's in WXMB 2.
“Be bold, be brave and surround yourself with other exceptional womxn. Not only will you be able to shout louder with each other's support, but you'll need each other when things get tough!” Liv Little, Founder of gal-dem - an online and print magazine run by womxn of colour, for everyone. (The Dots)
Written by Ren Balogun, Content Creator, Business Development at Circle Collective and