Mentoring Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in the Music Industry
Professional inequalities between women and men in the culture and creative industries persist: women represent barely 10% of entrepreneurs1. In addition, women are often highly qualified but they do not always have access to managerial, artistic, or technical jobs. Statistics show that if a man has 60% of the requirements for a particular position, he applies for it. This figure rises to 90% in the case of women2. There are two possible reasons for this phenomenon, also known as the “glass ceiling”: A lack of visibility and recognition of “female talent”. And a self-censorship that unfolds throughout their training, as soon as women begin to consider their future career.
MEWEM Europa is a project to implement and manage mentoring programmes for women in the music industry on a European scale. The project’s goal is that in the future, more women will also shape the music industry in leadership positions and as founders. Therefore, the project promotes access to management positions and entrepreneurship as well as the development of management skills among young women in the music industry.
For this purpose, a mentoring-based training programme, adapted to the music sector and with a European dimension, is being created in cooperation with seven partner organisations in six countries. Building on the experience of the various partners, a model mentoring programme for women in the music industry will be developed from which other European organisations can also benefit.
MEWEM Europa is funded by Creative Europe and follows an experimental project led by FELIN, le LABA and VUT in France and Germany funded by the European Union as part of Music Moves Europe.
7 Organisations in 6 Countries
114 Women Participants Over 2 Years
Mentoring connects young talent with experienced professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders, who each accompany their mentee for a fixed period. The example of the role model is a key factor for success and a strong lever for empowerment. The mentor invests her time, experiences and “hot knowledge” into the professional and personal development of the young person to strengthen the mentee’s position. The mentor is an expert with long experience, a role model and advisor to the mentee who provides insights and feedback and discusses ideas. At the same time the mentee brings fresh insights and new perspectives into the relationship. This way both can grow and gain knowledge and skills.
80 Professionals Trained to Conduct a Mentoring Programme
The objective of MEWEM Europa is also to strengthen a network of music professionals and enhance the value of the participating organisations and support those organisations who wish to participate. The project partners are not only supporting each other in piloting mentoring programmes for women in the music business. They are also developing a mentoring model for European organisations who would like to implement this initiative in their region/country, based on experiences from France, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Germany, and Romania.
Thus, MEWEM Europa aims to create a European network to support the development of a European platform dedicated to welcoming young professionals to this sector through mentoring.
How It Started
In December 2016, during a business trip to discover the German music industry in Berlin, the FELIN team met the VUT team and discovered the initiative launched by VUT: Music Industry Women.
The mentoring programme for women, then already in its second edition, is part of VUT’s commitment to gender equality in the music industry.
Back in France and inspired by this experience, FELIN launched a questionnaire among 200 of its members to study the place of women in the music industry, and more specifically in music labels.
The results are indisputable: only 8% of labels are run by women.
During the summer of 2018, thanks to a meeting with LABA, a specialist in European funding, FELIN, VUT and LABA applied to the Music Moves Europe call for projects to launch a first prototype of MEWEM.
In the autumn, FELIN took applications for the first ever MEWEM programme in France and a little later, in February, the MEWEM adventure began.
In October 2019, the partners met again during the MAMA festival and exchanged information and their know-how on the subject.
Based on the success of this experimental mentoring programme in France and Germany, FELIN, with MEWEM Europa, wants to encourage other European countries to start mentoring programmes to encourage women all over Europe to become more entrepreneurial and to build a European network of women entrepreneurs in the music industry
- Becky Prior, Erin Barra, Sharon Kramer, Ph.D: “Women in the U.S. Music Industry” (2019)
- Katty Kay, Claire Shipman: “The Confidence Code” (2014)