MEET: Sarah Deborre of Music Victoria
While there’s a ton of women who work in the music industry, there are very few women calling the shots in the workplace.
“It’s just leadership roles which are dominated by men. I guess for me, I’d like to encourage women to continue wanting to work in this industry. To call out bullshit when they see it and to support each other and not work against each other...
...One of the aims of Cultivate is to empower female leaders in the industry and provide them with coaching to support and help nurture them in their leadership journey so they can go on to continue supporting other women on their journeys.”
Calling music industry superstars from all corners of the state, Sarah pulled together a fierce list of participants and mentors for the pilot program. Dallas Frasca, Director of A Hitch to the Sticks festival (and insane muso) teamed up with Amanda Walker, co-founder of vegan go-to, Lord of the Fries. Kate Duncan, CEO of youth music organisation, The Push Inc. was mentored by Sarah Davies of Philanthropy Australia. Barely Dressed Records’ co-founder Katie Besgrove teamed up with Mia Klitasas, young entrepreneur and Moxie Products co-founder. Plus stacks more.
“All of our mentors have amazing real-life experience and are powerful and influential leaders who have been able to support and empower their mentees throughout this journey.”
While Victoria may have the most celebrated, vibrant and dynamic music scene in the country, it’s still highly underrepresented by women, despite the talented men and women that are equally keeping it alive. From festival lineups and radio play to major award ceremonies and “power lists,” men are still dominating women in the music industry, by a landslide.
“When you look at the number of women represented on industry boards, on festival line-ups, on the line-ups at music venues etc, you start seeing the inequality and it’s something you can’t ever un-see”
It’s not all bad news though, the music industry is finding its feet faster than loads of other industries, and the conversation is only building momentum for a quicker change.
With the first Cultivate wrapped up for the year, Sarah will now begin work on Live Professionals - a VIC-based program focused on small-to-medium live music businesses, providing workshops and coaching to help them thrive. Each applicant receives training, tailored to their needs, helping build their live music business and thus, live music in Victoria. Just another cracking program this boss lady in running, kicking off again in July.
Imagery via Music Victoria