The Jaguar Foundation has shared the findings from their debut report Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music.
Headed up by Jaguar, the report uses both quantative and qualiative data to highlight the significant gender disparity that still persists and reveals that only 5% of dance music in the UK charts is by women or non-binary artists. In terms of radio airtime, this percentage is even lower with just 1% of the top 200 airplay tracks from 2020-21 across twelve UK stations being from women or non-binary artists.
Elsewhere, the research highlights the culture of misogyny and sexism that still prevails and results in “women in music being judged more on their apperance than men.” It also emphasised that ageism is a more prominent issue for women than men.
Another issue that the report looks at is safety in clubs and live venues. Many artists said that they feel unsafe on the dancefloor and in the spaces they’ve been booked to play, particularly in light of the recent rise in spikings and sexual assault with the reopening of venues in 2021. “You’ve got to be concerned about your own personal safety at the same time as having to probably be considerably better [at DJing] than a male counterpart,” Professor Alice O’Grady says in the report.
In direct response to the findings, the report, which features input from the likes of I.JORDAN, Annie Mac, DJ Paulette, Jamz Supernova, Nia Archives and TSHA, also focuses on ways to address these issues. This includes suggestions for making dance music more accessible for marginalised genders, supporting grassroots organisations and for artists to consider having an inclusion and safety rider in their contracts. It also outlines an extensive list of resources from collectives and events to funding opportunities and further reading on trans and non-binary gender experiences.
“I never thought that at this point in my career I would become a spokesperson for my generation, or have my own foundation, or bring out an inequality report about my industry,” Jaguar wrote, sharing the report on social media. “We need this now, more than ever, to better understand the cavernous challenges that women and non-binary artists face every single day and to find positive solutions together, so that we can collectively make the dance music industry a safer and more inclusive place, which is how it should be. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to future generations to come.” Head here to read the report in full.
The Jaguar Foundation was set up in 2020 by DJ, radio broadcaster and BBC Introducing host on Radio 1 Dance Jaguar to improve the pipeline of women, trans and non-binary creatives in dance music. Jaguar created the foundation following on from her Future 1000 DJs programme, which is an initiative to introduce more female, trans and non-binary artists into electronic music.
The UK helpline for those impacted by sexual violence or abuse of any kind is 0808 802 9999. In the US, the national sexual assault hotline is 1 (800) 656 4673. A 24-hour support service can be accessed via RAINN.
We also compiled a list of resources for those affected by drink spiking.