For the first time this year, Austria joined 5 other countries in the European effort to promote women and gender minorities in the music industry. The desire and need for this support are evident: Already at the kick-off on 28 September, mentors and mentees were eager to exchange their experiences and find sustainable ways to support each other.
With Laura Soroldoni as moderator, the mentors and mentees got to know each other for the first time and agreed on goals for the mentoring period until February. The goals range from handling a successful and professional album release to expanding networks, orientation in the music scene, and a more self-confident appearance. The matching of the pairs carried out by mica – music austria was found to be very successful, as similar career paths, goals, and interests were taken into account. This was followed by personal meetings for all mentoring couples to exchange experiences, help with concrete plans and expand the professional network.
In a first group meeting in mid-October, Susanne Kirchmayr, artist and founder of female:pressure was invited to talk about her experiences in activism and equal rights for women in the music scene. The mentees were able to ask many questions and discuss challenges and solutions. These group meetings also serve as an exchange between the mentees, a safe space for addressing challenges on the one hand and for sharing experiences of success on the other. The mentees are already very well networked among themselves and organize small meetings to exchange their professional experiences and to support each other in case of difficulties.
Here’s what they have to say about their experience so far:
For me, MEWEM means inspiration, knowledge transfer, know-how, networking from woman to woman, and that across industries. MEWEM gives me the chance to work on specific topics with my mentor and to receive sound feedback. Especially because I work in a male-dominated field both as a trumpet player and as an ensemble leader and composer, this targeted exchange among women is very valuable for me and helps me to move forward.Damaris Richerts
For me as a mentee, MEWEM represents a rocket propulsion for the professionalization of artistic creation and for the development of a professional music business. Being personally accompanied by female role models in this process brings great added value in addition to the pure transfer of knowledge. The formation of a strong women’s network among the mentees as well as with the mentors is significant and enriching on a personal and social level.Nicole Jaeger
For me, the MEWEM mentorship program comes at just the right time. To orient oneself and establish oneself in a rapidly changing music business world requires, among other things, a high degree of knowledge transfer and networking. This is exactly what MEWEM provides. The program makes an important contribution to empowerment and gender equality. We need more of that!Maria Elisabeth Thornton (aka Liz Metta)
Due to the situation, the workshop day on November 26th had to be postponed to December 17th – the topic: “Confident negotiation and conflict resolution” held by the cultural manager Karin Wolf from Institut für Kulturkonzepte. Music-specific situations will be staged, such as a contract or fee negotiation. Afterward, Theresa Langner, co-founder of the successful label Assim Records, will talk about her entry into a management position and will be available to answer all topic-specific questions. We will report back on that soon!