Canadian Musician - November/December 2021 - Page 44

Getting More Women

into the Studio

How to Get Beyond the Stats & Empty Rhetoric to Create Real Change

BY SELINA SETRAKIAN

Women populate an unreasonably small part of the music industry ’ s technical side and with each study done on the matter , the only thing that ’ s grown is the massive number of articles with nearly identical headlines proclaiming , “ Less than 5 % of music producers and engineers are women .” Simply put , even though we continue to address this percentage time and time again , things have yet to significantly change for female-identifying producers , engineers , and mixers . But why is that ? To better understand what changes are needed , we first must ask ourselves a few questions ; the first being , who do these stats really reflect ?

Producer , writer , mixer , and recording and mastering engineer Elisa Pangsaeng takes a firm stance that the current stats demonstrate a continued failure to acknowledge the many women who already exist in the industry . So , do the numbers lie ? Unfortunately , they don ’ t , exactly . And to get a better picture on the matter , music producer , engineer , and Berklee professor , Susan Rogers , suggests we consider what is meant when we say “ the industry .”
“ These days , the percentage of women engineering , mixing , or producing is fairly high if you consider everyone making a musical product , but when you ask , ‘ how many records have you sold or streamed ?’ we see a very , very different distribution ,” explains Rogers .
Essentially , the stats only take into consideration those who have commercial success , which in itself is no easy feat . So , what can be done ?
“ We need to have what happened to me and Leanne Ungar and Sylvia Massy – males , from A & R executives to artists , willing to trust a woman in the driver ’ s seat as a producer , engineer , or mixer , and hire them ,”
PHOTO : COTTONBRO FROM PEXELS
44 CANADIAN MUSICIAN