Tutoring for women in the music industry
GIGWISE
11:23 13th May 2021

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Welcome to a new column in association with the wonderful Moving The Needle, the brand new charity helping women of all ethnicities and backgrounds to navigate the music industry and develop their careers - tutoring them as they go. In this column, we meet the amazing people on its board!

Every fortnight, Hannah Browne will be meeting women, fielding conversations between them and delivering some white hot advice on how to move the needle that is gender equality within the music industry.  To kick things off, find out the inspirations and tips behind some of the women you'll soon be meeting....

 

Julie Weir
Label Head at Music For Nations, Sony Music

Inspirational saying that moves you

Be Curious, Not Critical.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

I’ve been part of the music industry in many forms for all my working life, and feel privileged to be. I want to be able to give something back and bring through a new generation of people into this creative and vibrant world.

 

Essential advice:

  • Go with your gut and trust your judgement – but ALWAYS ask questions.
  • Don’t be scared - of anything (nothing is as intimidating as it seems – a lot of it is self-inferred).
  • Surround yourself with a great business and personal network. 
  • Be social.
  • Be AUTHENTIC.

 

Favourite band?

I am a terrible card-carrying Old Goth...so probably Bauhaus. I’d say my favourite album is probably Copper Blue by Sugar, October Rust by Type O Negative or Infected by The The.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I would not have been afraid or kept on second guessing myself. Impostor syndrome is a terrible thing.

 

Karen Emanuel
CEO of Key Production Group

Inspirational saying that moves you

You don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

Having spent the last 30 years growing my company through the ever changing Music industry, the last few years have seen a new passion kindled for education, mentoring and generally giving back the knowledge and lessons I have learnt. I am really excited and constantly inspired by this group of women.

 

Essential advice:

  • Follow your heart and your passion. 
  • Know your numbers. 
  • Persevere. 
  • Build a good team around you. 
  • Be good to yourself. Be yourself.

 

Favourite band?

There are too many I like and I cannot choose. I concur with Julie as an old Goth myself – I LOVE Bauhaus and Infected is right up there album wise. The band I’ve seen the most live and the first band I saw is The Specials.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I am extraordinarily lucky that I have enjoyed the unexpected path my career has taken me. I was always told never to work with friends or family but when I started out, my first employees were either friends or became friends which has certainly made things very tricky at times. Would I do things differently looking back? I don’t think so, whatever has happened has made me into the person I am today.

 

Silvia Montello 
Founder & CEO, VoiceBox Consulting

Inspirational saying that moves you

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" - Maya Angelou.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

I strongly believe in nurturing people and creating great team spirit, using enthusiasm, kindness and a healthy dose of humour — the world turns best when people have a happy environment, believe in what they do and are supported well.

 

Essential advice:

  • Understand your value and have the confidence in it - don’t sell yourself short!
  • Be the person that people want to deal with - it's not just ‘getting the job done’ but vibing well with the right clients so it's a great experience all round.
  • Don’t be shy to share your successes - men do this all the time, womxn have to equally feel comfortable letting others know what you do and how well you do it.
  • Don’t beat yourself up about ’the one that got away’ - there’ll always be the ‘what if’ or the ‘I could have done better’, but focus on the ones that are working well.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure - we often learn more from our failures than from our successes, take time to analyse what happened and this will guide you to not making the same mistake next time and to achieving greater success and happiness.

 

Favourite band?

  • Favorite artist: Prince.
  • Favourite album: Underworld “dubnobasswithmyheadman”.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I would have always stuck to my principles and what I believed was right, rather than compromise. It would have been hard to always do that,  but in retrospect I would have rested easier at night and been happier throughout if I had done that. 

 

Siofra McComb
MD at Positive Subversion

Inspirational saying that moves you

"Authenticity is Power" - Ruby Savage. There is real strength in believing in who you are, as well as in exuding your own authentic self. The most interesting people I know have a very clear idea of who they are, and I hope that in whatever I do I stay true to my core values and beliefs.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

I’ve faced a different set of challenges at every stage of my career and really value the advice and support I’ve been given by my peers and female leaders of the industry. It’s amazing to be a part of a group of empowering, driven, and intimidatingly smart women who take all the lessons they’ve learned along the way and give back through education, mentoring, and support, whether you are at an entry-level position or part of senior management.

 

Essential advice:

  • Don’t be a dick. The music industry is a small world (sometimes incestuously so) and people prefer to work with someone they like and trust. It’s also an industry that’s largely built on relationships, and having a reputation for being difficult will hurt you in the long run.
  • Don’t be a pushover either. Stand your ground, own your work, and learn the value of the word ‘no’. The people I respect the most are confident in what they bring to the table, and don’t let other people’s negative criticism bring them down.
  • Find your strength and build on it. We had an intern once that was supposed to help us with mailings and other admin tasks. And while they were enthusiastic, attention to detail wasn’t their strong suit at the time. We were coming to the end of their internship and about to let them go, when we found out that they were brilliant at making short videos and designing content and merch; a really valuable skill to have. They now have steady freelance work creating content for music campaigns for big-name artists.
  • Don’t get myopic. We love music. We live and breathe music. We listen to music every day. If it wasn’t for the fact that we have to eat and sleep, we’d be living off music 24/7. It’s important, however, to make sure you know what’s going on in the world at large. Not only can you get some great ideas from art, literature, comics, tv-shows, movies, politics, or anything else that takes your fancy: Music is very often a reflection of what’s happening in the world today and what cultural shifts are happening around us. So pay attention!
  • Take breaks. Some people say that by doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. The truth is that you’ll be working really hard all the time, and it’s going to be tough to create boundaries between what you do and who you are. Working in music tends to blur the lines between your social life and work life, and it’s tempting to work long hours and check your emails on your phone all the time. However, you have to give yourself the time and space to step away from your work, however difficult that might be. Mental illness is a real issue in the industry, and part of the problem is that we believe we have to be ‘on’ all the time. This is a job, just like any other, and you deserve to be able to get away from that.

 

Favourite band?

This is an impossible question to answer as it shifts ALL THE TIME. I have been spending a lot of time listening to Brandee Younger & Dezron Douglas' album Force Majeur, recorded over lockdown in their Harlem apartment. Absolute gem of an album! 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I'm actually quite happy with how my career in music has developed. I've managed to build a network of good people around me, I'm running my own business with a great roster of clients, and in many ways I'm exactly where I want to be. I wouldn't change that for anything. 

 

Jenni Cochrane
Co-Founder & CEO of Getahead

Inspirational saying that moves you

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!” 

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

To educate and inspire the next generation of music industry professionals, and equip them with the knowledge, tools and support that I never had growing up. I want to work with people to help them achieve their full potential.

 

Essential advice:

  • Believe in yourself.
  • Network hard - get yourself out there and meet as many people as you can, build a good reputation for yourself.
  • Don’t take no for an answer, if you want something badly enough fight hard for it!
  • Have confidence in yourself – you are as capable as any man (or woman) of getting your dream job!
  • Work hard and be nice to people, and if you are talented there’s no reason why you can’t thrive and go a long way in the industry.
  • Look after your wellbeing -  a healthy body = a healthy and productive mind.

 

Favourite band or album?

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I don’t think I’d necessarily change anything. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed that I’ve had the opportunities I have since a very young age. I’ve been able to travel the world doing a job I absolutely love and meet some amazing people on my journey, so I don’t really have any regrets in that respect. Leaving the music industry events world and moving into wellbeing came at the right time in my life for me.

As I got older my desire to help people lead me to what I do now, still organising great events where people can dance, network and have fun, but with a positive purpose instead of just getting wasted. The fundamental reason for creating the mental health and wellbeing initiatives we do is to offer much needed help, support, guidance and direction to people but in a fun, accessible and inspiring way via our community of incredible experts – and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Now being able to offer my knowledge and support to others via MTN, empowering others via my own experiences is so rewarding.

 

Eve Horne 
Director at PeakMusic

Inspirational saying that moves you

"Magic happens when people come together" - Eve Horne.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

I feel it is crucial for women to have role models and guidance from other women who are shining against all odds. I feel it is my purpose to be visible and present and remind young women that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.

 

Essential advice:

  • Not comparing yourself to others.
  • Creating for the purpose of expression first and foremost.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
  • Be a kind and decent person on the way up!

 

Favourite band?

Anything '90s R&B.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

Not allowing other people’s negative opinions affect my choices and to believe in myself and trust my intuition.

 

Gill Massey 
People Operations Manager at Full Fact

Inspirational saying that moves you

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" - Socrates.

 

Why did you join Moving The Needle?

The industry has come a long way since I fell into it in the '70s but I’d say it's also much harder to get the job of your dreams and to build a career, especially for women, as the data shows. I’m thrilled to be a part of Moving The Needle and to offer whatever support I can and make use of my experience in an industry that both challenged and sustained me. AND I can learn from this group of women!

 

Essential advice:

  • Follow your passion.
  • Choose your role models carefully.  
  • Know your worth.
  • Reflect on the successful and unsuccessful events regularly and learn from both equally.  
  • Do not compromise your values - no job is worth it!

 

Favourite band?

So many albums have moved me over the years but if forced to choose, I'd have to say The Who - Quadrophenia.  It's been a constant.

 

What would you have done differently if you could restart your career again?

I would have taken more learning opportunities, written it down and been more selective about forming friendships in work.

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