In January 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative concluded that two years earlier, the music industry saw a six-year low for female creatives. The contributions of women remain underrepresented in virtually every corner of the field — from singers and songwriters to A&R professionals and marketing mavens. Because of these findings, She Is The Music is a necessary network for women in music to facilitate meaningful change in order to diminish the “boys club” industry mentality, which is why we wanted to showcase them in this debut episode of our new The Show Up series.
Founded by Alicia Keys in 2018, She Is The Music is a non-profit organization aiming to amplify underrepresented individuals in the music industry through networking, resources, and impactful initiatives. In the above video, Michelle Arkuski, executive director of the organization, says that the “overarching” goal of the organization is to “[harness] inclusivity, opportunity and visibility to increase the number of women working in music.”
She Is The Music fosters connections between its members and music industry giants in order to provide support and advice. Like-minded individuals can link up through the organization’s global online database of 7,000 she/her-identifying music industry members. She Is The Music also features programs unifying its members, like their all-female songwriting camp, their partnership with Step Up empowering female high school students, and their newly-implemented virtual mentorship program, Connect TogetHER, whose members launched their own music team after the program ended to help an alumna release her debut album.
Through instilling confidence in established and prospective industry personnel, She Is The Music provides a look into how limitless the field could be for women. “When people put gender into a title, it knocks you down a few steps,” She Is The Music’s songwriting committee co-chair and L.A. chapter head Hannah Babitt notes. “We need all genders involved to push a change and shift the numbers.”
Check out the video above to learn more about the group.