“I want to see a music industry that’s much more aware and inclusive of female musicians — no more excuses”
I’ve been working for various parts of the music industry for 25 years. I started as a musician and loved that, but I quickly realised I wasn’t going to make a full-time living from it so I decided to get into the arts and admin side of things. I’ve done a bit of everything along the way. But, for the past few years, I’ve been primarily focused on diversity and music. And I love it — working with female musicians is my focus now.
Last March, I lost all of my work. I had set up a tour all around the UK and I was going to various women in music groups, charities, and universities, delivering workshops in person and it all disappeared in three days. I didn’t get paid work for around another five months after that, so that was a real shock. But, actually, during that gap, I transitioned to being online and got some Arts Council funding to develop the F-List, which at the time was just a spreadsheet. And while I was at it, I thought I may as well set up a non-profit organisation at the same time. It gave me a little bit of headspace to do that work. So, at the end of November, I launched the F-List- a not-for-profit organisation. I’ve got 12 amazing women on my board from all over the music industry who are helping me and about 80 social media ambassadors as well. So the aim is to provide professional opportunities for female musicians. I feel really focused and, now that we’re beginning to open up again, I really want to see diverse lineups from festivals. They can still do better. So here’s a resource for everyone who wants to find female musicians. We’ve got over 5,000 listed on the directory, based in the UK from all genres of music.
In the coming months, I’m hoping the music industry gets back to being somewhere near normal, quickly and safely. I can’t wait for big live performances again — especially as a fan! But as part of that, I want to see a music industry that’s much more aware and inclusive of female musicians — no more excuses. And my advice for any performers reading this — join the F-List!