Friday, 23 April 2010


I had to post this. BIG UP JEANETTE LEE and all the ladies running tings in the music industry. We're taking over.

Taken from THE CMU


Rough Trade co-founder Jeannette Lee accused the music industry of being far too male dominated this week, and she's right you know. And it's all horribly white at the top, too. And yet it's an industry that talks about diversity issues very rarely. At least the horribly white male dominated City agonises about its lack of diversity from time to time.

The famously low profile Lee was speaking at the Association Of Independent Music's previously reported Women In Entertainment event. As one half of the male-female double act behind the Rough Trade label and artist management empire, she says she has experienced first hand the sexism that exists in the music business.

According to Billboard, she told the event: "If I walk into a room with [fellow Rough Trade boss] Geoff [Travis], people assume I am his PA. I think men are threatened by women who are doing well, and sometimes when I walk into a board meeting, they don't know what to say to me".

Travis, also taking part in the event, added: "The industry still thinks of me as Rough Trade and don't think of Jeannette as my equal partner. It has something to do with old-fashioned sexism. It is inconceivable that Rough Trade would have been successful without her. Lennon had McCartney... Me, I had Jeannette Lee".

Lee admitted that her personal decision to keep a relatively low profile had partly led to her being written out of the Rough Trade story by many, but added that when men and women collaborate on music ventures there is too often an assumption it's the men who lead the operation. Lee also dealt with the myth that women had to be "flirty or bitchy" to succeed in the music business, adding a passion for music was most important and "just be good at your job".

Another panel at the same event noted that the industry had wider diversity issues than just gender discrimination. AIM's Remi Harris revealed that she had agreed to chair a new not-for-profit body called the Alliance For Diversity In Music and Media, explaining: "After ten years in the business, it's only recently that I have been comfortable being a black woman in this industry".

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