Emily Lazar explains data on gender in music industry could be improved by tracking freelancers: “Tracking who does what and letting people self-identify is important”

Emily Lazar commissioned a report called Fix The Mix, which looks into gender equality and representation in music.

Emily Lazar

Image: Press

Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Emily Lazar has provided insight as to why there is a lack of data on gender equality in the music industry.

Speaking to us at MusicTech about Fix The Mix, the report she commissioned through her foundation We Are Moving The Needle, Lazar explained how having data is vital to back up the anecdotes of women and non-binary people, and provide a true picture of their experiences in the industry.

“One of the things people don’t always know is that this is part of my personal story,” explains Lazar. “The anecdotes are real. My story is real. It’s why I founded Fix The Mix. This idea of being able to put data to those anecdotes is very important.

“It’s not just, ‘Oh I was the only woman in the room!’ No, I was the only woman in the room, and now there are facts to prove that. In other industries, that’s unacceptable. But for some reason, we’ve not had the data to prove this.”

Lazar told us that this disparity in data comes down to the lack of tracking and collecting data from freelancers, who are prominently the ones making records. These freelancers often don’t have a union or organisation collecting information from them.

“Tracking who does what and letting people self-identify is important because it’s a super-disorganised group,” says Lazar.

Within the wider music industry, this lack of data is not a problem. As she explains, “Every record label knows how many marketing people they have that are women or identify as non-binary. They know within their companies who they’re hiring and there are quotas they have to meet. But not for the people who make the records – and this is a really important piece of the picture.”

Learn more at We Are Moving The Needle.


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