An interview with DHP’s Kelly Bennaton about the progress of Women In Music

Friday September 28, 2018

Back in March, our friends at DHP ran a successful event called Women in Music. Taking place at Rescue Rooms, the event on 7 March addressed the gender imbalance in the music industry, with the aim of creating an environment for discussion and a platform for positive change. On 10 October, Women in Music is back for their second event. Tickets are available for £5, or £3 for students and low income. We spoke to DHP Head of Marketing Kelly Bennaton again, discussing the success of the first event, the impact of #MeToo, and the future of Women In Music…

We’ve heard good things about the first Women in Music event on 7 March, but was it successful for you?

It was a great success! There were some very interesting points that came out of the discussion, and we had a really engaged audience who contributed a lot to the conversation. It was inspiring to hear advice from women doing so well in the industry and we got excellent feedback from attendees. In addition to all of that, we raised a good sum of money for Equation. We’re looking forward to building on the success of that first event for events to come in the future.


How do you decide on the panel for each event?

There is a group of us at DHP who organise the event collectively. We’ll meet up to discuss areas we think will be of interest and areas of the industry where we feel most change needs to be made. From there we’ll come up with a panel topic and then I’ll start contacting women across the industry who have expertise in those areas.


When we last spoke, you discussed the impact of the #MeToo movement. Have you seen progress within the industry since?

In all honesty, not enough progress, no. Although there are many more women who feel able to speak out, there are still far too many stories surfacing of men in power using their position to abuse women.  Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be a quick fix, and the music industry is reflective of a wider societal issue. We choose to donate ticket income to Equation as they’re a great charity working tirelessly to prevent gender-based violence and change the attitudes that cause it in the first place.


What do you have planned for the second event to push on from the first discussion?

We really want to make these events useful for those who attend, so as well as presenting interesting discussions we’re aiming to provide practical guidance and information that people can take away. Alongside our panel on entrepreneurship, The Big House will be in attendance to provide information on how women can access grants and support to start their own businesses. We’ll also be putting more of a focus on the networking aspect of the event to try and encourage more collaboration between our attendees.

What does the future look like regarding the Women in Music schedule? What are your ambitions?

We’re still in the early stages, but we have lots of big ideas for what we’d like to achieve. We’ve been discussing doing an event in London, launching a website full of advice and information and holding a careers fair for women who’d like to get into music. We organise this event around our full-time jobs, so it’s very much a labour of love at the moment, our main aim is to raise awareness and hopefully encourage women to enter and stay in the industry.


We have many new female students looking to start a career in music. What advice would you give them?
Experience is key. Don’t wait around for opportunities to present themselves to you; you can put on your own gigs, manage a friend’s band, write your own blog, volunteer with a local festival. The music industry is competitive, so anything you can do to show you have a true passion for working in it will be beneficial. Oh, and be nice to people!

Women In Music have just announced the first wave of speakers and they have limited tickets remaining. Get yours before they sell out!

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