Meet The Campaigners is a series where campaigners in the music industry tell us about their organisations, what changes they are trying to make and what they are currently working on.
Here, founder Nadia Khan discusses Women In CTRL, a non-profit music development organisation on a mission to advance gender equality in the music industry.
Women in CTRL is a non-profit music development organisation that was established with the goal of advancing gender equality in the music industry. Founded in 2017 by Nadia Khan, recipient of Outstanding Contribution of the Year award at the 2021 Women in Music Awards, Women in CTRL were also honoured in 2023 with the IMPALA Changemaker Award.
Women in CTRL’s mission is to develop and support music creators and professionals from underrepresented groups, with a particular focus on women, trans individuals, and non-binary individuals. The work of Women in CTRL revolves around creating clear pathways for talent to enter, develop their skills, and progress in the music sector. Through nationwide outreach and support programs, WIC delivers high-level and impactful creative growth initiatives, community workshops, mentoring, training, and events, among other endeavours.
Women in CTRL do leading work in campaigning for women in leadership roles across the industry and in the boardroom with the ground-breaking report “Seat at the Table” report, released in July 2020, which investigated the representation of women on the boards of several UK music industry trade bodies. The report discovered that 34% of board members were women. Through an intersectional analysis, it was revealed that only 3% of board members were Black women. Since then Women in CTRL have successfully led and supported campaigns for women to be elected onto industry boards including PRS for Music, PPL, AIM, FAC, MMF, Ivors Academy and more. Most recently supporting VV Brown and Laura Mvula with their election to the PRS for Music Members Council.
Another notable project launched by Women in CTRL in 2023 is the Amplify apprenticeship programme. This ground-breaking initiative, developed in collaboration with Amazon Music, AIM (Association of Independent Music), and All Things People & Talent, aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the independent music sector. The programme offers successful applicants the opportunity to secure Label Assistant roles within six respected AIM label members located across the country. Participating labels include Bella Union (Brighton), Come Play With Me (Leeds), Fear Records (Manchester), Fire Records (London), Glasgow Underground (London), and Heavenly Recordings (London).
Amplify apprentices will engage in both administrative and creative aspects of label operations, closely working with A&R teams to identify, champion, and nurture women and non-binary talent on label rosters. The 15-month paid apprenticeships, beginning in July, will adhere to at least the Real Living Wage standards, with salary contributions provided by Amazon Music to the labels. Moreover, apprentices will receive mentoring from AIM, Women in CTRL, and Amazon Music teams, along with free access to AIM’s educational resources and networking events.
The Amplify programme represents a significant step towards addressing the underrepresentation of women and non-binary artists on label rosters. Aligned with UK Music’s diversity action plan, which outlines that improving equity within the sector and creating greater opportunities for under-represented groups is key to cultivating diverse talent.
Women in CTRL invite individuals to join them in their mission to advance gender equality in the music industry. To learn more about their initiatives and how to get involved, visit their website at www.womeninctrl.com and sign up for their newsletter here.
Find out more about UK Music’s Diversity work here.Back to news