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Female songwriters still only make up 17% of PRS membership

By | Published on Friday 8 March 2019

PRS For Music

To coincide with International Women’s Day today, the UK’s song right collecting society PRS For Music has published new figures on the continued imbalance between male and female songwriters working in the industry.

It found that, of the top 20 highest earning songwriters in 2018, only one was female. And while 1000 of PRS’s new writer members last year identify as female, women still only make up 17% of the total membership. There are some signs of improvement among younger songwriters, however. When you look at just the under 20s, 42% identify as female.

“These statistics are indicative of widespread gender disparity across the entire UK music business”, says PRS For Music Director Of Membership Claire Jarvis. “[They] shine a light on the need for continued positive action to be taken to make our industry a fairer and more inclusive space. Whether through creating opportunities, breaking down barriers, improving education, or mentoring, we need to work together to ensure tomorrow’s songwriters have visible role models to aspire to”.

The PRS For Music supported PRS Foundation launched its Keychange programme in 2017, of course, which specifically aims to increase the number of women working in the music industry. It then launched a manifesto at the European Parliament last September.

The PRS Foundation has also been running its Women Make Music fund since 2010 and aims for a 50/50 split between male and female applicants for all of the organisation’s funding opportunities by 2022.