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Grammys Announce Plan To Break Barriers Against “Female Advancement”

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The Recording Academy learned a lot from the past weekend’s Grammy Awards. The fact that only 11 out of the 84 winners were women, along with the CEO’s comment on how females need to “step up” made for a major change on new ways of the Academy.A statement issued on the official Grammys website details new plans “to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.” Neil Portnow notes how “gender bias needs to be addressed” in the music industry and he pledges to do everything he can to contribute to the future of award shows. Read the statement in full below.

To The Music Community—

After hearing from many friends and colleagues, I understand the hurt that my poor choice of words following last Sunday’s GRAMMY telecast has caused. I also now realise that it’s about more than just my words. Because those words, while not reflective of my beliefs, echo the real experience of too many women. I’d like to help make that right.

The Recording Academy is establishing an independent task force to review every aspect of what we do as an organisation and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community. We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.

I appreciate that the issue of gender bias needs to be addressed in our industry, and share in the urgency to attack it head on. We as an organization, and I as its leader, pledge our commitment to doing that. We will share more information about the steps we are taking in the coming weeks.

Also, read the comment Neil made at the Grammy awards that received lots of backlash from the likes of Pink, IggyAzeala and  Iggy Azalea, Pink and Janelle Monáe.

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

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