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Today, March 8, marks International Women’s Day, a globally-recognised chance to celebrate and recognise the challenges and opportunities facing women across the world.

Along with our design partners Sane & Able, we have produced an infographic with stats and facts about the role women play in professional music, and how they are represented across the classical music industry. The theme of ‘space’ was chosen to highlight the light years we need to travel in order to achieve gender parity, as women are still vastly under-represented in the media for their achievements in composing and conducting.

We’ve highlighted that at the current rate, it won’t be until 2186 – 169 years away – that 50% of pieces composed and conducted by women will be the norm at the BBC Proms. Currently, only 4 of the 61 accredited ABO orchestras have women undertaking titled roles. This week we have compiled a Spotify playlist of 169 of our favourite pieces created or performed by women in celebration of the incredible contribution women make to the music industry, including those who have been overlooked by history.

The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2016‘ provides interesting – and sometimes difficult – reading for anyone interested in finding out the facts and statistics behind women’s role in areas such as education, economics, health and politics. From looking at the data collected it is clear that, like with classical music, we still have a long way to go to ensure that the female half of the population are given the same opportunities as their male equivalents.

It’s not all bad news. Serious efforts are being made to ensure fairer representation for women in the classical music industry. ‘Sound and Music‘ are aiming for a 50/50 split between male and female-identified composers as part of their vision for 2020, which is a short three years away. Later today, BBC Radio 3 are to broadcast a piano sonata by composer Fanny Mendelssohn, which up until recently had been falsely attributed to her brother Felix. Tomorrow, as part of HeForShe Arts Week, ‘Yes She Can’ are providing young women opportunities to network and discover more about careers in music, particularly in roles generally underrepresented by women such as tech and management.

Follow the hashtags #BeBoldForChange and #InternationalWomensDay on Twitter to find out more about how you can get involved in the campaign for gender equality.

 

(Written on March 8, 2017 )