We Are Moving the Needle, the nonprofit launched by Grammy-winning mastering engineer Emily Lazar — which celebrates its first birthday today — has partnered with Jaxsta, the Australia-based database of music credits, to include gender identifiers in its search function. The goal: to showcase engineers, producers, mixers, and songwriters who are women or non-binary. The pronouns she/her and they/them will be used to delineate gender for those who choose to do so. The initiative has been dubbed “Fix the Mix” and the hope is that it will lead to increased work opportunities for these underrepresented groups.
Other organizations that have signed on to support and work with “Fix the Mix” include Women in Music, SoundGirls, shesaid.so, and Change the Conversation.
The Jaxsta database covers over 220 million credits and 13 million creatives, among them producers, songwriters, engineers and musicians. Its data Partners include record labels, distributors, publishers, the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and more.
The initiative comes on the heels of the inaugural “Women in the Mix” study, which was issued today by the Recording Academy, Arizona State University and Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.
Among the study’s prominent findings: That discrimination is prevalent, with 77% of some 1,600 respondents reporting that they were treated differently in the music industry because of their gender; over 56% believed their gender had affected their employment in the industry, with music creators and performers expressing this the most, at 65%, according to the report.
Further, women are overworked and underpaid, with 57% of respondents holding down two or more jobs, and 36% making less than $40,000 per year.
Another consistent stat: that only 3% of producers are female.
Courtesy of Jaxsta
“While we still have a long way to go, I am thrilled to see this important step toward parity in the hiring process for women in the technical fields of the recording industry,” said Lazar of “Fix the Mix.” “The music business desperately needs a resource that can highlight, enable, and source women and non-binary engineers, producers, creators, and songwriters, side by side with their male counterparts.” (The “We Are Moving the Needle” advisory “soundboard” includes such luminaries as Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, HAIM, Linda Perry, Liz Phair and Sara Quinn of Tegan and Sara, among others.)
Added Jaxsta founder and CEO Jacqui Louez Schoorl: “From the day that Jaxsta was founded my mission has been to celebrate diversity and drive opportunities for all. I truly believe that you can’t be what you can’t see, which is why I feel so strongly about redressing the gender balance in the recording industry, so that future generations of female and gender minority recording talent can see a pathway to the opportunities they so richly deserve.”