Gender balance in the music industry – Meet SWIM (Scottish Women Inventing Music)

Hey guys!

I’m back today to tell you about the great evening I had on Wednesday at a meet up hosted by SWIM (Scottish Women inventing Music).

First of all, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a singer and I’m currently doing an HND in Music Business at Glasgow Kelvin College. Networking being an important part of the music business, I was very happy to take part in the meet up which was dedicated to women who work or wish to work in the music industry.

It’s a fact, women remain underrepresented in the music world nowadays.

According to the Independent, only 17% of female artists were in the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 2012 and 2018. Also, only 10.4% of female artists out of 1064 people were nominated for a Grammy in the main categories between 2013 and 2019.

Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival revealed a nearly all-male headline acts for 2020 and led to a controversy, especially after Geoff Ellis from DF Concerts claimed that more women should “pick up guitars and form bands” to get gender balance at festivals. There is clearly a lack of gender balance in the music industry.

Fortunately, some people are now willing to speak up and to take part in the promotion of women who work in the music industry.

For example, the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona achieved a 50/50 gender split in 2019, which definitely proves that there are talented female acts out there ready to take the stage and about 65 000 people happy to buy a ticket and enjoy the show.

Now, let’s talk about SWIM. The organisation works on providing a level playing field for women. It officially launched on March 8th, 2019 in Glasgow.

SWIM – Scottish Women Inventing Music– What do they do?

SWIM is a collection of musicians and industry professionals who identify as female. We can find on the board women from organisations such as Help Musicians UK, Musicians’ Union or the Scottish Music Centre along with brilliant singers/songwriters, to name a few.

The members work in all areas and genres of music: PR, management, performers, songwriters etc…

SWIM take action in 3 main areas:

  • Network:

They connect the members through a website and social media and promote members’ work within the organisation and beyond.

  • Education and information:

Successful women deliver talks and workshops in education settings to inform on women’s opportunities across the music industry and to inspire young people to start a career in music. They also host panels to raise awareness of inequalities within the music industry and address issues.

  • Promotion to increase women’s visibilty :

They run events and collaborate with other organisations to push gender equality and they build a database of members and their skills which is accessible to industry professionals.


I’m very grateful for having had the chance to talk to these amazing successful women who gave me some valuable business advice during the meet up last Wednesday.

I am now a member and I strongly advise you to sign up as well if you’re a woman working in the music industry.

It’s only £5 a year (September to August) and you’ll get access to the members’ database if you’re looking for collaborations or advice and to special members events like gigs played by other members.

The next meet up will be on February 26th and will be open to members and non-members. Here’s a chance for you to learn more about SWIM.

Sign up on the website: https://www.scottishwomeninventingmusic.com/

Facebook page: SWIM

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