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Closing the Gender Gap in EDM: Is it Possible?

How do we even begin?

The journey for women’s equality has been long, and it’s not over yet. Now more than ever it’s acceptable and applauded to identify as a feminist and to do one’s own part to fight for equality. At the end of last year, THUMP led a panel discussion with some women from the dance music industry to ask about closing the gender gap.

In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we thought we’d start our own discussion here. The goal is equality, and the question: “Is that possible in EDM?”

If you explore Spotify’s “WHM 2016” folder, you’ll find genre playlists for Women in Pop, Women in Country, Women in EDM, etc. The sad part is that they were able to find 118 songs for the Women in Pop playlist, but only 22 songs for Women in EDM. That’s right, 22 songs. What’s worse is that half the tracks aren’t even solely by women, but mainly crediting or featuring a male artist.

Thanks for the shout out to ladies like Mija, Jack Novak, Anna Lunoe, Alunageorge, Amba Shepherd, Hannah Wants, Nat Dunn, and Nina Las Vegas. But was it necessary to select their tracks that were either mainly credited to or a collaboration with tyDi, DJ Snake, Swick, Chris Lorenzo, Hardwell, and Nicky Night Time? Where’s the girl power in that?

You probably remember when Tumblr went wild with deleting male acts from festival lineup posters to see just how male-dominated the industry really is. If you don’t, here is an example:

Coachelle Without Male Acts

We’re not blaming anyone or any factor in particular, we’re simply stating that there is an imbalance of gender in the industry. So what can be done about it?

In New York City, the Lower Eastside Girls Club have made getting an education in production and DJing a little easier for the girls in their neighborhood. They host a seven-week DJing workshop taught by WBAI DJ Baby K (AKA Kelly Webb) and DJ Reborn. The tween-aged girls work on real equipment and programs, and they get to do it all for free with the Girls Club. If there were more programs like this available, do you think that we would have a shift in the gender ratio a decade from now?

What else do you think can be done to close the gender gap in dance music?