BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour has revealed its fifth Power List, which profiles the 40 most powerful women currently working in the music industry.

The list was revealed live in a special programme hosted by Jenni Murray and broadcast this morning (28 September), BBC Music Day.

The Power List celebrates women who are demonstrating power and innovation in the music industry by supporting and championing the work of other women, and by changing the industry from within.

The top three spots were taken by musicians Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, and Vanessa Reed, the CEO of the PRS Foundation. Reed was recognised for the Keychange initiative, which involved getting many international festivals to sign up to a pledge to gender parity.

A number of women from the classical music industry featured in the top 10: Gillian Moore, director of music at the Southbank Centre, in sixth; Rebecca Allen, president of Decca Records, in seventh; conductor Marin Alsop in eighth; Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of Chineke! orchestra, in ninth; and Maggie Crowe, director of events and charities at BPI, administrator of the BRIT Trust, in tenth.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti, managing director of LSO Kathryn McDowell, composer Anna Meredith, and chief executive of the ISM Deborah Annetts were also featured.

The Woman’s Hour Power List launched in 2013. Previous women to have headed the list include the Queen, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Nicola Sturgeon, and Margaret Thatcher.

Additional information can be found at


The full 2018 list is as follows: 

  1. Beyoncé (musician)
  2. Taylor Swift (musician)
  3. Vanessa Reed (Chief Executive of the PRS Foundation)
  4. Adele (musician)
  5. Stacey Tang (Managing Director of RCA UK)
  6. Gillian Moore (Director of Music at Southbank Centre)
  7. Rebecca Allen (President of Decca Records)
  8. Marin Alsop (conductor)
  9. Chi-chi Nwanoku (musician, founder of Chineke! orchestra)
  10. Maggie Crowe (Director of Events and Charities at BPI, Administrator of the BRIT Trust)
  11. Olga Fitzroy (Recording and mix engineer)
  12. Annie Mac (DJ)
  13. Desiree Perez (Chief Operating Officer, Roc Nation)
  14. Cardi B (musician)
  15. Sia (songwriter, musician)
  16. Ellie Rowsell (musician)
  17. Sarah Stennett (CEO at First Access Entertainment)
  18. Nicola Benedetti (musician)
  19. Hattie Collins (journalist)
  20. Dua Lipa (musician)
  21. Kathryn McDowell (Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra)
  22. Julie Pilat (Global Head of Operations for Beats1)
  23. Alice Farnham (conductor and co-founder of Women Conductors)
  24. Fiona Stewart (Director of Green Man Festival)
  25. Taponeswa Mavunga (Head of Publicity at Columbia Records)
  26. Emma Banks (Co-head at Creative Artists Agency)
  27. Edwina Wolstencraft (Editor at BBC Radio 3)
  28. Linda Perry (songwriter, musician)
  29. Vick Bain (CEO of British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors)
  30. Jasmine Sandlas (musician)
  31. Anna Meredith (composer)
  32. Amber Davis (A&R Director at Warner/Chappell Music)
  33. Deborah Annetts (Chief Executive at Incorporated Society of Musicians)
  34. Sas Metcalfe (President, Global Creative, of Kobalt Music)
  35. Fiona Dalgetty (Chief Executive of Feis Rois)
  36. Grace Ladoja (founder of Metallic Inc and artist manager)
  37. Mandy Parnell (mastering engineer and founder of Black Saloon Studios)
  38. Issie Barratt (composer)
  39. Nadine Shah (musician)
  40. Sara Sesardic (Music Editor at Spotify UK)