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STATS FOR FEMALE SONGWRITERS A MIXED BAG

New figures from U.K. PRO PRS for Music reveal that just 17% of its songwriter and composer members are female, a number that has risen from 13% in 2011, signaling slow progress in the music business when it comes to addressing gender disparity.

Of the top 20 highest earning songwriters and music composers in the U.K. last year, only one was female. Overall, there were more than 1,000 women registered as working songwriters and composers in 2018, which is the same number as in 2017.

“These statistics are indicative of widespread gender disparity across the entire U.K. music business and shine a light on the need for continued positive action to be taken to make our industry a fairer and more inclusive space,” Claire Jarvis, Director of Membership, PRS for Music, said. “Whether through creating opportunities, breaking down barriers, improving education, or mentoring, we need to work together to ensure tomorrow’s songwriters have visible role models to aspire to.”

However, it's not all bad news—42% of PRS for Music writer members under the age of 20 identify as female, suggesting the balance should markedly improve in years to come. Stats also suggest that women have longevity, with the current average age of the highest earning top 10 female songwriters and composers being 47 years old. Annie Lennox, Kate Bush and Chrissie Hynde are among the most played songwriters on British radio.

Millennials Charli XCX, Jess Glynne and Romy Madley Croft of The xx join the likes of Adele, Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch and Emeli Sandé as some of the most successful female songwriters in the U.K., with 40% of the top 10 highest earning female songwriters under the age of 35.

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