Music Victoria Cultivating the Careers of Women in the Music Industry

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Music Victoria Cultivating the Careers of Women in the Music Industry

Music Victoria have partnered with The Victorian State Government this week to launch a new leadership and management program for women in the music industry. The Cultivate Program will aim to grow the careers of established women, and those who identify as women, already working within the contemporary music sector, developing their skills to take them into senior and leadership positions.
Program manager, Sarah Deborre is excited to be bringing this project to life in 2019. “We want to see more women in those leadership roles in the Victorian music community,” she says. “There’s a lot of entry to the music industry sorts of programs out there but it’s nice to have something out there for people already in the industry.”
Aimed specifically at women in the business side of the music industry, from music lawyers to venue operators, publicists and everything in between, the program comes at a time where women are severely under-represented in senior positions within music based organisations with many females feeling “overlooked for work place opportunities in the music industry”. A 2015 report, ‘Women in the Victorian Contemporary Music Industry’ further highlights this with some alarming statistics that still hold true today.
“There was also an examination of men verses women in senior positions in selected music industry based organisations and it found that only half of the organisations that were looked into had 50 per cent or more females in senior positions and several organisations at the time had no females in senior roles. Of the senior positions that were available across all of the organisations only 28 per cent were held by women.”
Kicking off in early to mid March and running for a duration of two to three months, the program will include master classes and individual training, with Music Victoria and the Victorian State Government investing financially in each participant to deliver the training. As part of Cultivate each participant will be assigned a female mentor in a complementary role who will offer guidance to nurture career growth. The mentor may not necessarily be from the music industry but they will have considerable experience and some level of success within their field so participants can develop transferable skills across industry.
“It’s not a professional development program. We’re not teaching people business based skills. It is leadership so we are looking at training for being on music industry boards, conflict resolution, public speaking and building emotional intelligence and empathy as a leader, negotiation skills, how to lead and motivate others and how to strategise and put ideas into actions, and how to be an influential communicator,” Deborre says.
As for application criteria, the applicant must be a female, or identify as a female, of any age based in Victoria who already works within the music industry in a mid-tier or management role.
“It’s all about finding the right people that need to get to that next point in their career. We want to see that people can demonstrate that they want to be able to take their career to the next level and that they will have an impact on the future of the Victorian music industry.” Deborre continues, “There are amazing men in the industry so it’s not an anti male thing, but this is all just about trying to bring women into a position where we can have a bit more diversity in the music industry in leadership positions.”
Applications are now open. Apply to be part of the Cultivate program at
Written by Tammy Walters