A recent US study from the University of Southern California has achieved multiple findings that prove women perpetually endure underrepresentation and stereotypes in the music industry.
The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative is an annual report which uses both data-driven and theory based research to confront inequality within industries. The latest findings have highlighted the gender gap between the men and women in music who make the charts that scorekeep the most successful songs of the year, such as the Hot 100 Billboard Year End Chart.
In the study’s key findings they expose that “There were 160 artists on the Hot 100 Billboard Year End Chart in 2022. 69.4% were male and 30% were female. Less than 1% of artists identified as gender non-binary”
It is remarkable that this disparity is yet still a record high for the number of female artists who are recognized on the year-end chart since 2012.
Other statistics have revealed the consistent lack of female songwriters represented in the Billboard chart over the last ten years which has not surpassed the inconsiderable 14.4% record in 2019.
2019 was also the leading year for female producers acknowledged on the year-end chart when merely 5% of all producers were women. In 2022 only 3.4% of the 232 producers found on Billboard’s year-end list were women, and one non-binary producer stands alone in the tendentious statistics.
The Annenberg study’s goal is to serve as an advocate for inclusion and to provide a voice for marginalized groups. The lead of the study Dr. Stacy L Smith calls for action in a statement:
“Until women and men artists hire women songwriters and producers the numbers will not move. It’s more than just allowing an artist to credit themselves on a song, it’s about identifying talent and hiring women in these roles. That’s the only way that we will see change occur.”
Besides the numbers on the charts, the study has also brought to light that “Women are stereotyped—in terms of the types of songs and genres they can create, and into the roles they can play—they are sexualized, and their talents and experience are discounted.”
As barriers are slowly broken down women can celebrate small wins and remain hopeful as they continue fighting to see a day where they are equally represented and respected at the same levels as men in a male-dominated industry.
Click here to view the full Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study.