Keychange pledge for gender equality in music industry reaches major milestone

The Keychange pledge for gender equality in the music industry has reached the milestone of 500 signatories.

Launched in the UK in 2017, the initiative aims to achieve at least 50% representation of women and gender minorities on line-ups and within record labels, publishers, orchestras and more through tailored objectives.

As well as signing up UK groups such as BBC Proms, the Barbican and Aldeburgh Festival, the pledge has also attracted support in China, Latin America and Australia.

The 500th signatory was EBU Music – part of the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the Eurovision Song Contest.

EBU Music facilitates around 3,000 concerts each year, making it the world’s largest provider of live music, according to Keychange.

Cambridge-based music festival Strawberries and Creem also recently joined the pledge through a collaboration with Girls I Rate, an organisation that offers opportunities to young women in the music industry.

Merle Bremer, Keychange’s project lead, said: “Keychange has been instrumental in highlighting the explosive nature of gender inequality in music for the past four years.

“With a strong and ever-growing network, we have managed to raise awareness of the problem while implementing concrete actions.

“We are very proud that more than 500 organisations have joined the Keychange movement and we are particularly pleased that EBU Music have joined Keychange as a signatory.”

Vanessa O’Connor, the EBU’s director of member relations and communications, said: “The European Broadcasting Union is working hard to ensure our organisation and activities properly reflect the diverse communities we serve and the world they live in.

“It takes time but making this commitment visible is an important step. I’m delighted that we will be partnering with Keychange once more after our joint initiatives earlier this year to highlight the stark disparity in gender representation in the music industry.

“Signing this pledge cements our commitment to increase visibility of these issues and amplify the voices of the many music bodies who are also signing in support of urgent and necessary change.”