The findings of a report on PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music fund will be revealed at a Parliamentary round table later today.
The fund was created in 2011 to draw attention to the gender gap between men and women in the music industry, encourage more female music creators to come forward for funding, and raise their profile, supporting role models for future generations.
Grants are used to support a range of projects that help artists develop their careers, including tours, recordings and commissions.
The report found that 79% of grantees said the fund significantly helped their confidence by enabling them to grow their professional profile, and 82% described the creative impact as significant or very significant. 82% of grantees secured more bookings following the grant and 64% attracted new commissions, with 85% stating it would have been impossible for their project to happen without funding.
However, 78% stated that they had experienced sexism in the industry, which they described as male dominated. Respondents also said they felt there was a lack of recognition of what woman contribute and achieve within the music industry, and pressure on women to conform to an image of being sexy and beautiful
To date, the fund has attracted 1,300 applications; awarded £522,790 in grants to 157 individuals (including Anna Meredith and Hannah Kendall); and increased grantee income by an average of £3,513. Each grant was an average of £3,600, representing almost 100% return on investment.
Vanessa Reed, chief executive of PRS for Music Foundation said: ‘The impact of the Women Make Music fund over the past five years demonstrates how powerful and inspiring targeted funding initiatives can be. Not only is it a hugely popular programme, but a transformational one which has introduced us to new talent and positively impacted the careers of over 150 female songwriters, composers and music creators.
‘We’re pleased that the findings of our evaluation are being discussed in Parliament today and that Matt Hancock (minister for culture and digital) and Caroline Dinenage (minister for women, equalities and early years) have shown their interest and support of this work. We look forward to working with government, other funders and industry partners to grow this fund so that we can reach more of the women who deserve our support and accelerate change in an industry which would benefit from increased representation of talented women.’
Reed also announced that the PRS Foundation is aiming to achieve a 50:50 balance of male:female creator applicants by 2022.
The application form for Women Make Music reopens on 2 March, with submissions due by 8 May.