Music Matters Q&A for International Women's Day

For International Women’s Day, BIMM Brighton hosted a Music Matters Q&A, discussing gender parity in music, and publicising the World Economic Forum #pledgeforparity campaign.

The event was hosted by students Kristy and Chelsie, who welcomed a diverse panel:

Chris Burns – Head of Group Operations at BBC Radio.

Bellatrix – Musician, songwriter, world-champion beatboxer, and a member of Beatbox Collective who spends much of her time on tour.

Vicky Warwick – Bassist for Charli XCX, as well as a talented session player working with Gabrielle Aplin, Guy Chambers and Xenomania.

Diane Wagg –  Owner of Deluxxe Management and Ideal Music Productions and is Co-Chair of the Music Manager’s Forum (MMF).

The panellists discussed industry discrimination, with Chris and Diane sharing disturbing stories of workplace sexism in their early careers. Both felt the intensity of sexism had reduced, with Chris crucially reminding everyone to always keep equality of women in the workplace in their minds.

Vicky discussed unique issues that women in the industry face, pointing out the relatively small number of women in bands and potentially greater difficulty for them in getting bookings while Diane commented on the scarcity of female engineers and technicians.

An excellent question to the panel was:

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?


“Don’t limit yourself. If you see an opportunity, go for it, regardless of what hurdles you might face.”


“Lots of people don’t enjoy their work days. We are lucky that we have a passion for what we do. Be passionate and open minded.”


“Remember to enjoy the journey. Have goals, keep trying to raise the bar, but remember to enjoy it.”


“Make the most of your free time as a student. Find the right people to work with and develop new skills.”

On the topic of sexuality and subverting sexist stereotypes:


“Women shouldn’t have to feel the need to use their sexuality to empower them.”


“If you’re strong, and it’s not all based on your sexuality, then that should be okay. You’ve got to be sure you’re not being manipulated.”

An inspiring concept to take away from the event came from Chris:

“The most important thing is that we all be ourselves. What is normal? What is femininity? These words are a distraction. The main thing is that talented people get opportunities. The reason you’re hired to do things is to be you.”

We’re proud to support all our undergraduates at BIMM to get where they want to be, finding good opportunities and always having a fair chance to do their best. Hopefully this panel helped to inspire more of them to make that a reality.

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POSTED ON: March 17, 2016
  • Brighton, Music Business