Underrepresentation of Women in the Music Industry

Ciara Cisneros

Take a listen to your favorite radio station or popular playlist. Have you ever noticed a lack of female representation? The glass ceiling has been something that women have been battling for years, and are still battling today. There is no exception in the music industry. An analysis of the Billboard top 100 music charts between 1997 and 2007 shows the largest lack of representation within the rap genre where 93.2% of performers were male. Unfortunately, most of the other genres held a similar ratio.  

A large cause of the imbalance of representation can be attributed to music listening platforms such as radio and streaming.  When analyzing Spotify’s most popular playlists, there was only  10.8% of female musicians have been featured. In 2010 there was a study that featured 215 country-wide radio stations. It revealed that only seven stations included a majority of female musicians in their new music playlists. 

In the fight for gender equality, the music industry might not be the first unfair work environment that comes to mind. Nonetheless, pop culture such as music is only an amplified representation of our society today. By amplifying a message of equal opportunity in the form of music, we can empower our society’s ability to create change.