Aiming to close the gender gap in the technical fields of the recording industry, mastering engineer Emily Lazar has launched the nonprofit organization We Are Moving the Needle.

Lazar, nominated for three of this year’s Album of the Year Grammy contenders (Coldplay, HAIM and Jacob Collier), has set out to provide education, equipment and mentorship for women who aspire to work in production. The organization’s advisors include Brandi Carlile, HAIM, Maggie Rogers, Liz Phair, Linda Perry and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

Lazar announced the new organization the same day a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study, “Inclusion in the Recording Studio,” found that only 2% of producers and engineers in popular music were women in 2020.

“While I know from firsthand experience that there are very few women behind the console, the Annenberg study details just how few of us there actually are,” Lazar said. “It begs the question I get asked about most—‘What can we do to change this?’ It’s time to take action. We need to get more women behind the consoles in recording studios all over the world and that’s exactly what We Are Moving the Needle is going to do.”

We Are Moving the Needle will award 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.

Founding corporate partners include Dolby, Sonos, Blackbird Academy and The Lodge.

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