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International Women’s Day – Stephanie Haughton-Campbell On Celebrating and Increasing Inclusion In The Music Industry

For this year’s International Women’s Day, Interim Chief of Staff/Director of Operations Stephanie Haughton-Campbell reflects on the positive progress made and the role of inspired inclusion in the music industry.  

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For this year’s International Women’s Day, Interim Chief of Staff/Director of Operations Stephanie Haughton-Campbell reflects on the positive progress made and the role of inspired inclusion in the music industry.  

This year, for the first time in my existence, I was included in a positive statistic. From Women in CTRL’s Seat at The Table 2024 report published last month, “over 50% of executive teams are composed of women and/or non-binary individuals.” As a member of the executive team at UK Music, that stat relates directly to me and the phenomenal women leaders I interact with daily. The release of this year’s report marks the progress made towards meaningful representation, fuelled by the industry’s commitment to change as set out in the Ten-Point Plan.

I took a moment or two to celebrate the tangible progress achieved by the trade organisations – ‘representation of women on UK music trade association boards at 52%, reflecting substantial progress since the inaugural Seat At The Table 2020 report, where women held 32% of seats’ – in the full knowledge that to achieve the vision we want to see for women’s representation and experiences within the music industry, the work to achieve change never really stops. 

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Inspire Inclusion, to openly embrace women’s diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image and how they identify. It got me thinking about the macrostructural and institutional evolution required to have a greater proportion of women creating in and contributing across all sectors and levels in a UK music industry that they feel safe in. Following the evidence presented in the recent Women and Equalities Committee’s Misogyny In Music report, this proved a daunting, slightly depressing train of thought. Switching focus to a personal actionable perspective reminded me of Cassie Petrey’s (Co-Founder of Crowd Surf) recent post on LinkedIn on how ‘introverts’ could survive Grammy Week.

I am a passionate believer in the power of networks, but if high voltage pressing the flesh (as I call it) isn’t your sweet spot, how do you build networks that have the potential to provide validation, professional challenge, and access to opportunities? How do you navigate the traditional ways of being ‘seen’ in the industry? 

Cassie’s post provides practical advice on how to navigate these networking spaces while maintaining authenticity and experiencing network benefits. Reflecting on how, within my realm of influence, I can support and encourage women in the music industry on the journey to meaningful representation and experiences, on International Women’s Day, I pledge to network in spaces outside of my comfort zone and to inspire inclusion in the formal and informal networks I am associated with.  

Right, so the question is, what do you pledge to do to inspire inclusion in the music industry? 

Finally, I must acknowledge that I write this year’s blog from a place of heightened privilege. I am, thankfully, not in a conflict war zone. Although life can change in a heartbeat, right now, I am safe, supported, and grateful.”

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