We Are Moving the Needle, a nonprofit organization that aims to close the vast gender gap in the technical fields of the recording industry, has announced a slate of new members joining its Advisory and SoundBoard, including award-winning artists/producers Brittany Howard, Vanessa Carlton, Christina Perri, Imogen Heap, and Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards). The new group joins founder, Emily Lazar, and previously announced members such as Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, HAIM and Linda Perry, along with other prominent leaders in the recording industry, who have signed on to bolster the number of women producers and recording engineers.
“Providing opportunities for women in the producing and engineering field is very important to me,” states Grammy Award winner Brittany Howard. “I produced my recent solo album, have built my own home studio and really feel it is important to be able to see others do what you want to do, to build a community of people trying to accomplish the same goals and to pave roads to educate and encourage other women in this field and that is why I’m so happy to be working with We Are Moving The Needle. When I first walked into a studio I didn’t always know what everything did but I knew I was searching for a sound and that I had an opinion and with that I took chances to find exactly what I was hearing in my head and put it on a recording. I can’t imagine how much better my experience would’ve been with more education and a little more confidence in what I was doing.”
“I am so excited to be part of We Are Moving the Needle,” says Grammy Award nominee Vanessa Carlton. “The gender gap for women on the technical side of music making is jaw dropping. As a mother to a 6-year-old daughter who is already fiddling with mics and writing her own songs, their mission is especially important to me.”
In addition to Brittany Howard, Christina Perri, Vanessa Carlton, Merrill Garbus and Imogen Heap, the newly announced SoundBoard members are: Ali Harnell, Suzy Shinn, Rachel Kurstin, Julia Michels, Trey Fanjoy, Jessica Dobson, Hailey Knox, Maddie Jay, Maria Elisa Ayerbe, Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato and Brigitte Wright. A complete list of SoundBoard members can be found HERE.
While announcing this new group of women SoundBoard advisors, We Are Moving the Needle also issued a call for male allies to step forward and become part of the solution to the overwhelming gender inequity in recording studios. According to the fourth annual iteration of USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study “Inclusion in the Recording Studio,” released last month, only 2% of producers and engineers across popular music were women in 2020. Lazar, who was nominated for three Album of the Year Grammy Awards this year for her work on albums by Coldplay, HAIM and Jacob Collier, founded We Are Moving the Needle to create measurable change by empowering women in the recording and professional audio industry with the education, equipment and mentorship needed to succeed at the highest levels.
“In order to achieve noticeable change and reach equity in the recording industry, we need men to stand up and be allies,” proclaims Emily Lazar, Founder of We Are Moving the Needle and Grammy Award winning Mastering Engineer. “While it’s vital as women that we help each other, the truth is that men are, in large part, the gatekeepers in this industry and that’s simply a fact we cannot ignore. They are the ones doing the majority of the hiring and they are ones that need to take action and expand their talent pool to create more opportunities for women to work on records. We welcome support from everyone who is committed to increasing the number of women in producer and engineer roles.”
We Are Moving the Needle will work to bring equity and inclusion to the present industry as well as guarantee growth and progress for generations to come by awarding scholarships and grants to music technology and recording programs at academies, colleges and universities around the world. The group also has plans for dedicated internships and entry level positions designated and reserved for women who are part of the program.