Sound and Music launches International Women’s Day intervention

Susanna Eastburn sound and music

Sound and Music is marking International Women’s Day 2017 with a week of activity aimed at opening up the debate and championing female composers.

To coincide, it has launched #5050by2020, an initiative to ensure that, by 2020, at least 50 percent of the composers it works with identify as women. 

The new music charity is also making the case for wider acknowledgment of female composers, gender equality and equal opportunities across the music industry.

To this end, Sound and Music chief executive Susanna Eastburn (pictured above) has written a blog addressing current issues and challenges.

In it she writes: ‘It’s hard to pinpoint cause and effect, but in conversations with other female leaders in the sector, a number of us have noticed a creeping negative shift in attitudes towards women.

‘Somehow the current political climate seems to have given permission for behaviours and attitudes that we thought we had seen the back of. A lack of respect; not being taken seriously; a low level but deeply wearing sniping, or worse, at women in positions of authority.

‘All of us here at Sound and Music are concerned and unnerved by these attitudes and the pernicious inequality we see around us, including in our own field. We want to address these issues in a positive way and to join with others in committing to widespread, tangible change across the sector.’

Elsewhere, the organisation is evidencing the lack of female representation in its own British Music Collection data, both historic and current, with a call to action for more women to join the collection and help populate these empty and overlooked profiles.

Throughout the week, which runs from 6 to 10 March, the organisation is also giving a platform to female composers from its programmes, so they can share their personal challenges and advice.

See #SoundAndWomen and #5050by2020 hashtags on social media for more, or visit

Tune into the Sound and Music International Women’s Day Playlist 2017: