The Women@CISAC initiative has made considerable progress in its work to share best practice and raise awareness of the issues facing women in the creative industry. The message of the campaign has been shared a numorous events around the world during a journey that included the following milestones.

2014 Launch in London, UK

Responding to data that showed an under representation of women in leadership roles at authors’ societies, a group of women composed of at least 30 female society executives and a number of female creators met in London on 5 June to launch the Women@CISAC initiative.

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2015 Congress and Campaign Publication in Brussels, Belgium

Approximately 30 twenty female creators and society executives from across the world gathered on 3 June in Brussels for the second meeting of the initiative. This was an opportunity to review the recently published CISAC data, share professional experiences with executive women at the top of the industry and encourage further networking. Amongst the speakers were:

  • Marisa Gandelman, CEO at UBC (Brazil)
  • Elizabeth Matthews, CEO at ASCAP (USA)
  • Janine Lorente, Deputy CEO at SACD (France)
  • Ann Sweeney, Senior Vice President for Global Policy at BMI (USA)
  • Catherine Saxberg, Head of International at SOCAN
  • Kimani Goddard, Senior Policy Advisor at CISAC

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2017 International Women’s Day event at UNESCO

As part of the HeForShe week, UNESCO hosted a round table debate in its headquarters in Paris. This brought together a unique group of creators and academics who are committed to gender issues. The focus was on the achievements of pioneering women and on strategies for achieving parity and artistic freedom. Women@CISAC was represented by the French artist Suzanne Combo, who was invited to participate in a panel moderated by Audrey Pulvar to discuss the topic “Courage and creativity: What freedom of artistic expression for women?”.

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2018 Priority Relaunch at General Assembly in Warsaw, Poland

The challenge of promoting gender equality to provide equal opportunities was brought to the fore during the Women@CISAC panel at the CISAC general assembly in Warsaw. Singer, songwriter, performer and CISAC Vice President, Angélique Kidjo, introduced the panel in a short video. She drew attention to her experiences “operating in a man’s world” yet her success has allowed her to be a spokesperson for women around the world. She said, “It’s an issue of dignity, equality and fairness.”

Moderated by ARS Vice President Janet Hicks, a panel of leading figures in the creative and cultural industries was comprised of BURIDA Director General and Regional African Committee Chair, Irène Vieira; Directors UK Director, Delyth Thomas; ASCAP Board Member and composer, Alex Shapiro; APRA AMCOS CEO and CISAC Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Brett Cottle; and Pauwke Berkers of the University of Rotterdam.

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2018 CIAM General Assembly in Mexico City

A Women@CISAC panel examined the issues regarding gender equity in the music repertoire. Felicity Wilcox of AGSC urged all to actively seek and see the work of women to help bring it into the mainstream. Natalia Vergara of SGAE identified the need to demonstrate the social impact that females have in music. Damhnait Doyle, board member of SOCAN, proposed solutions to increase diversity of boards. Magdalena Mattey of SCD in Chile noted that other issues exist with mass media representation which makes it difficult for women creators’ works to be disseminated.

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2019 Eurosonic Industry Forum in Gröningen, Netherlands

Women@CISAC joined the Eurosonic Noorderslag event to share insight into the gender aspects of pay, leadership roles and festival appearances during a panel titled “Pushing for change from within: how we move forward for gender equality in the music industry”.

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2019 Latin America & Caribbean regional conference in Peru

A week-long series of events and conferences led by CISAC and hosted by APDAYC in Peru included a discussion panel with the Women@CISAC initiative. This was attended by local creators, industry experts, executives from the region’s authors’ societies as well as observers from Europe and the United States.

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2019 CISAC General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan

Women@CISAC held a panel discussion on efforts to bring gender equality to collective management by conducting research, raising awareness and sharing best practices to support CISAC members in advancing equality and inclusion. In Tokyo, the panel included Dr Felicity Wilcox of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, Mami Saito of JASRAC and Fabiana Nascimento of AUTVIS. Progress has been positive, particularly in Latin America, although men need to be involved in improving gender equality so that it reflects the 50-50 population today. Since 2018, a steering committee was created and a survey sent to members. The survey results will assist in understanding the true status today and how to move forward.

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2019 MAMA Festival Panel in Paris, France

The annual MaMA Festival & Convention is one of the leading industry events for music professionals from France and around the globe. This year in Paris, the festival organisers recognised CISAC’s role in seeking to improve equality in the music sector by inviting Women@CISAC to participate in the conference.

Women@CISAC joined the “What’s next” segment which explored efforts to solve the pressing problem of underrepresentation of women. These discussions sought to identify how the music sector can take today’s foundations of gender equality research and activities to create actionable change across local, regional and international levels.

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2019 Music Equality Alliance Meetings in London, UK

The non-profit Music Equality Alliance met at the International Live Music Conference in London and invited Women@CISAC to join the meeting. Also attending were festival representatives, agents, Eurosonic, CIAM, ECSA, AMCE, Keychange, PRS Foundation and UK Music. Women@CISAC shared details of its work to raise awareness about the need for better diversity within collective management organisations as well as more support for women creators that seek a livelihood from their work.

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2019 Inaugural Women@CISAC World Congress in Lisbon, Portugal

Held over two days in Lisbon, the event was opened by the Portuguese Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, and received personal video messages of support from United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, and CISAC president, Jean-Michel Jarre.

The event included panels on the historical context that created barriers for women; on mentorship, sponsorship and training; on women as an asset in the culture industries; and on strategies to move forward in the face of pay gap issues. The congress also shared results from the first-ever gender equality survey across CISAC’s membership. 66 out of 237 member societies responded with the majority replying from the music repertoire.

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