To mark International Women’s Day, UK Music’s Director of Operations Stephanie Haughton-Campbell recognises the value of the Midfielder and finding your tribe.
On International Women’s Day, I am celebrating with gratitude the women who inspire me and what can be done to keep women like them in the workforce.
The first woman I am celebrating I haven’t officially met. Chloe Roberts, COO, of record label Young won the Businesswoman of the Year Award at Music Week’s Woman in Music ceremony in 2022.
During her speech, I felt seen. She said: “We [COOs, CFOs, lawyers] may not always be in the front like the strikers scoring goals. . .but, as midfielders, we have to run the entire length of the pitch. One week setting up, scoring the goals and the next week running back to clear up the mess.”
Women make up 52.9% of the music industry workforce (UK Music, 2022), and I suspect, in supporting roles, as Jane Dyball acknowledge in a recent LinkedIn post. She said: “There have always been a lot of women in the lower echelons of the music industry. They are PAs, accounts assistants and lawyers…women still tend to go into the industry in support roles”. This was my route into the music industry via support roles, which aren’t always given the recognition they deserve. However, thanks to Chloe, I am grateful for the word perfectly describing how I add value to the organisations I work for and the industry I serve. I am a MIDFIELDER.
As a midfielder, I aim to build inclusive, supportive environments where everyone thinks to the very best of their ability, thus being able to do exceptional work. To link our vision and purpose i.e., setting up and scoring goals, with the process and policies that define the way the organisation works effectively, i.e., reinforcing our defence.
One of the things I have valued most in my career is the fantastic network of exceptional women (I have met), who continue to support and champion me. Women like Natalie Wade, (PPL, Director of Music Industry Engagement) and Michelle Escoffery, (PRS Member’s Council President), all the women on the pilot Music Leaders Network I participated in, especially Remi Harris (Music Leader Network, Co-founder), Tamara Gal-on, (Intuitive Coach for the Music Industry) Jane Dyball (Laffittes Ltd, Founder), Jenny Goodwin, (The Ivors Academy Director of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns), Ayesha Hazrika (Columnist /Broadcaster), Claudie Plen (NKD, Learning Director), and Paulette Long (MPA, Chair).
Then there are also new women in my orbit who take my breath away with their tenacity and brilliance, including; Charisse Beaumont (Black Lives in Music, CEO), Grace Meadows (Music for Dementia, Campaign Director), Charlotte Edgeworth (Sony Music, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact) Amanda Maxwell (Artist Manager and UK Music Futures Chair), Nadia Khan (AIM, Chair) and Arit Eminue (the Fairy Job-Mother).
Working with the UK Music Board, I witness leaders who campaign fiercely on behalf of their members, including Andrea Martin (PRS for Music, CEO), Annabella Coldrick (MMF, CEO), Naomi Pohl (General Secretary, MU), Silvia Montello (AIM, CEO) and Sophie Jones (BPI, Interim CEO/Chief Strategy Officer). And I am looking forward to meeting Dr Jo Twist, who has been recently announced as BPI’s new CEO.
I engage and collaborate with fantastically skilled and passionate women across UK Music’s members and associated organisations. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to work with these women – it is a highlight of this role.
However, running alongside my gratitude is a concern which has been highlighted in UK Music Diversity Report 2022, which found: “the highest concentration of female representation across all age groups is the 16 – 24 age bracket, which is reflective of the trend, which sees females outweigh males in the younger age brackets, whilst males outweigh females in the older age brackets; the 45-54 age bracket is the point at which female representation starts to drop at 44.3% with the numbers reducing further to 33.3% for those aged 55-64″.
Where are the women, particularly those my age, cough 50+ and who look like me, going? Why are they popping out for the industry? And what can be done to halt and reverse this skills, experience and talent drain? And can the industry afford to lose these versatile midfielders who strengthen an organisation’s core with the ability to play both ends of the pitch?
For the employers, businesses and organisations that make up the music industry workforce, UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce have developed the Five Ps, an action plan designed to accelerate positive change. It maps out five key areas: people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress to be of focus. The plan includes recommendations for cultivating a transparent, safe and consciously inclusive culture, while increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups.
Facing and navigating the myriad of career obstacles is not for the faint-hearted, so on an individual level, I advise women in music and the creative sectors to FIND YOUR TRIBE – find the formal or informal communities and networks where you are authentically seen, understood, appreciated, supported, challenged, and pushed beyond boundaries. Networks like Women In CTRL, she said so, Music Leaders Network, and The Cat’s Mother, and so many more.
If I did not participate in the pilot Music Leaders Network more than a decade and a bit ago with women who continue to show up for me, I doubt I would be in this role at this point in my career. When you find your tribe, your network, you never stand alone in the rooms you are destined for.
I talk about this and other stuff with the brilliant Hayleigh Bosher on the podcast Whose Song Is It Anyway: Women In Music in March.
Last but not least, this is a shout-out to the exceptional women I work alongside at UK Music; Beatriz Ribeiro, Jennifer Geddes, and Hannah McLennan – sheer brilliance. And if you are the midfielder in your business, I SEE YOU!
Listen to Stephanie talk more about her experiences in the music industry on the Whose Song Is It Anyway podcast here.Back to news