[00:00:02] Speaker A: You.
[00:00:05] Speaker B: Hello and welcome to Music Industry 360 podcast. I'm Randall Foster, I'm the chief Creative officer at Symphonic and I am happy to be here hosting our great friends from Keychange US. With me today we have Andrea de Silva and she's going to talk to us about Keychange and all of the incredible things they're doing as well as how that kind of interfaces with International Women's Day. And hopefully we'll all learn something today and know more about that organization and find out ways we can all help too. Andrea, welcome.
[00:00:42] Speaker A: Thank you, Randall. It's great to be here and we're big fans of the work that Symphonic Distribution is doing.
[00:00:49] Speaker B: Thank you so much. So can you tell us about Key change the origins? I know this something that started overseas and is taking root here and gaining steam here in the US.
Give us the 10,000 foot view on what Keychain is.
[00:01:06] Speaker A: Absolutely. So Keychain is a movement and it started in Europe back in 2017, was founded by Vanessa Reed who at the time was the CEO of the PRS Foundation out of London. And today the PRS Foundation remains one of our three core partners in Europe along with Centrum US out of Stockholm, Sweden and the Ribaban Festival which is based in Hamburg, Germany. And they provide leadership and wanted to really look at global expansion. So they've been moving into other parts of the world, not only the United States. And last summer they decided to expand into the US market in earnest. And we had a launch event in New York City on June 14. And really we've just been building from the startup from the ground up, like any startup building all the building blocks to eventually go live and go public with our activities and events, which I'll tell you more about in a minute. And the idea being to really achieve gender equality for women and gender expansive individuals across the music ecosystem. So I say ecosystem because we know it's not just the music industry even though in the US we talk a lot about business and industry. And in contrast, in Europe, maybe sometimes there's more of a conversation on, you know, on the one hand, as a movement, it has a little bit of an activist flavor to it in that you're building from the ground up with the people that are on the ground, aka the artists, musicians and so forth. On the other hand, it takes all ships, if you will, all tides to rise. And it's also an effort that involves governments policies and the corporations and the trade associations and just all facets. So you have community and you have industry and you have government altogether.
[00:03:15] Speaker B: Very interesting. So you've named a few of these. Who are the other stakeholders that we're really targeting with your activities? And can we talk about the main overarching goal? You used a phrase that I'm very curious about gender expansive and I would love to have you expound a little bit upon that and help us all understand a little bit more what that?
[00:03:40] Speaker A: So, you know, a lot of the international bodies like the United Nations had focused initiatives on young girls and women. And as the decades wore on, there was a realization that a part of the population was missing. And we're deliberately using the term gender expansive rather than maybe referring to minorities because we're looking at the non binary. So a lot of the research that was coming out of the UN, for example, was really based on and focused on, quote, unquote, straight or binary women. And so now the term is used to really be more inclusive and to be more diverse for women that are queer non binary to kind of encompass the whole field of intersectionality for transgendered and so forth. So there's an inclusivity there for women and others that identify within a category of female, if you will, but may not be on that binary spectrum for lack of a better word. And the other thing I would say about it is language really matters. And this is perhaps know a lot of our education will come into bear over time as we build brand name recognition in the United States. For people to understand that if you're really going after real dei, diversity, inclusion and equity, you have to consider all the different flavors and facets of humanity. There's not just one type of woman or female that is participating in the workforce or in the artistic community.
[00:05:30] Speaker B: No, absolutely.
Even personally, I have gone through a transformation in the way I view the titles and the things that we use our pronouns really unilaterally over the past few years. And you're right, it's an education.
[00:05:47] Speaker A: I agree. Yeah. The topic of pronouns, I wouldn't say that I just elegantly started to use accurate pronouns. I have stumbled quite a bit, and I still do because it's not only with language, but there is a visual perception. When you see another person, you associate a gender or an identity with them. And today we're trying to be broader in our thinking and therefore much more inclusive so that people are self identifying and they're claiming the identity that they most associate or identify with. And it's definitely a sign of respect to be curious about people's pronouns and where they feel they fit in the world. And it's no longer just one, it's not binary, it's a multitude of identities and it's beautiful. It's really the rainbow of the human experience. And I love that people can identify themselves in numerous ways and for some people they don't want to have a pronoun and that's fine too. But the idea being gender identity is pretty complex. And so let's be respectful of how people identify and also allow them to be in the space where they do identify.
[00:07:25] Speaker B: Absolutely. Well, and identifying is only part of the goal. There then diving a little deeper into the organization.
You we collectively are looking for parity and for even playing ground.
[00:07:42] Speaker A: That's right.
[00:07:44] Speaker B: I think it's a beautiful cause and a beautiful thing to work towards.
So as you're working towards these goals and trying to service these stakeholders.
[00:08:00] Speaker A: Can.
[00:08:00] Speaker B: You tell us a little bit about the role that data plays in the conversation around gender equity?
For instance, where are you sourcing your data and how are you deploying that into the organization and the industry at large to serve the greater good and to serve your mission?
[00:08:19] Speaker A: This is a really good and important question.
I was in the federal government previously, and data was like the lifeblood, because with data you can kind of prove a point or at least get closer to convincing people that your point needs to be addressed because the data supports it. And it's no different with gender equity. And I think once we started measuring the state of play for women in music, some of the data was just downright shocking or appalling, considering the fact that women, inclusive of gender expansive individuals, constitute at least 50% of the population worldwide. And just in general, in the workforce, we're half and half, mostly. And the Annenberg Inclusive Study inclusion Study, which is one of the sources that we've gone to, for example, found that only 2.8% of producers were women. And another way to look at that is what's going on there? That means there's 97 and a half percent of the industry are men.
It's a very domineering number to think about. And then what does that mean for women that might be interested in the Stem industries when their kids going to school to study, but they suddenly see the whole industry is so male focused, what they see is men. And it's hard for them to relate to that or to feel like, wow, this is something I could do. It becomes aspirational, but it seems almost unattainable looking at other types of research. Our founding donor tooncore, and their parent company believe they have annually, now going on three years, created a market research piece called Be the Change, and they went in and found very similar information.
And so we know that it's not only one source to find data, there are many. But sometimes the industry really has to step up and be accountable themselves and create the opportunity to do the research. Because it seems very esoteric to some to say, yes, we're a movement on gender equity in music. And people will say, well, why just music? Isn't this a question for all industries? Yes, it is, but here we go. We know that in some aspects of music, songwriters, producers, like I said, there is still a relatively very low or extremely low participation of women and gender expansive individuals. And if you couple that with the fact that women are earning maybe seventy two cents to the dollar of men and you start to look at kind of the stereotypes and how people think about Stem education and the career opportunities therein. You start to realize that there are all these barriers out there. Not only that, but there's questions around women when they come up in leadership roles or they have an opportunity to work in industries that may be heavily influenced by male employment.
They might suffer from what's known as impostor syndrome in that they're afraid to kind of advance in their career, or they don't feel that they have a place because they're not identifying with the other individuals that are in that space, or they feel intimidated. And sometimes it gets much worse than that. Sometimes just kind of taking a little bit of leap here in this thought process around what we know about gender equity and the music sector, especially for younger artists going into a recording studio. If you're a young woman or gender expansive person, it can be pretty intimidating. If your recording session is at 09:00 p.m.. It's nighttime, you're all alone in a studio, and basically everyone working there is a male. And you have to kind of figure out, do I feel safe? And what's going on? And it just seems like things could appear to be stacked up against women and not for lack of women wanting to participate or be in those leadership roles or be in those more engineering, scientific, or tech related roles. It's kind of how things came to be. And then by association, that's seen as, well, that's just how it is. That's the industry standard. There aren't enough women in these roles, so we should all just accept it. But then research found that, well, in fact, there's a lot of women that are interested in being engineers and working in the field, but that glass ceiling sure is hard to blast through. So really tying it back to the goals that we have and what our cohorts in Europe have been working on for five years is to really challenge the stereotypes, to get the data, to build allies, and especially with men without a question. So crucial to have allyship with men who one understand and respect the challenges that many women and gender expansive individuals face in music, but that they're more inclusive in their behavior and their actions. And an example there that I might mention is so often in my tenure working with the music industry, when I've gone off to a conference, it's all male speakers on the panels or a majority or a dominance of men. And I always ask myself, well, where are the women? I know there are female executives in the space that are knowledgeable on this topic, and a lot of the men would say, well, there aren't that many women in this space, and it's not true. And you can go into so many reasons for where were the women? Or where are the women? Or why aren't they included? But my point tying to Allyship is, hey, dear friend Joe, let's just say a random name. When you're invited to speak at that next panel at XYZ major music industry conference, why don't you ask how many women and gender expansive individuals are also speaking on the panel? Or ask if you can invite a woman or gender expansive individual that you know and really kind of put the event on notice with. We'd like to see a level playing field. It's not to challenge them, but just to kind of say, well, if half the world includes women, including gender expansive individuals, because not every woman is straight, why aren't they also here with me doing this work, and not assume that they don't want to be, or, no, they're not working now because they had kids? Or, no, they don't really come out much. They like to stay in the office?
So many wrong stereotypes.
Sorry, go ahead.
[00:15:56] Speaker B: I was going to say I'm experiencing that myself right now.
For 15 years now, I've been producing events for the Nashville Film Festival, and I have witnessed the shift in dynamic and the shift in just need let's be representative of the community that we're talking to.
And even as early as last week, I submitted myself for a panel at an upcoming conference. And it was definitely part of my thought process in there was the idea of, okay, this is great, we need experts to be a part of this. But this has got to be a diverse panel because it's got to reflect that of what the audience is. And the truthful matter is I'm heading out to south by Southwest. The audience at south by Southwest is not all men, nor is it not all white. CIS is a good friend of mine said to me at one point when we were having a discussion about diversity with regards to a board of directors at that time, he said, and I'll never forget it, and I utilize it probably weekly, but diversity has to be intentional.
Eventually it'll become second nature where it won't be intentional, but until it is, it has to be intentional because otherwise the status quo is all we're left with. And I think what you all are doing is so fantastic to keep that discussion alive and to push that discussion not only into the events and panels and conferences we have, but also to talk directly to corporations about ways they can deploy these things. I would love it if you could talk a little bit about the key change three pillars and what they stand for and how they integrate into not only the message, but action items that are takeaways for everyone who intersects with your organization.
[00:18:08] Speaker A: Thank you. Yeah, I'll preface that by saying I'm in awe of what they've accomplished in Europe in these past five years. And our partners there just released a new pledge action plan. I'll tell you about the pledge in a moment where they're kind of taking a new tech and how they're approaching it. And a lot of it is really based on what you were saying and being intentional and finding the right allies and I think maybe challenging the systems a little bit as you go along. But Key Change is built on three pillars, and one of them is a global key change pledge, the other is a talent development program. And the third is a manifesto. And I'll start with the manifesto. So after Keychains was formed in Europe, they realized that they really need government systems and intervention. And so they went to Brussels with a manifesto, basically saying, we see the work here as being a combination of education, activism, if you will, funding and policy, looking at what are policies that are supporting or preventing women and gender expansive individuals from getting ahead and what kind of language is out there. And so the manifesto is really a little bit like a mission statement, but it's really just to identify how as an organization, we can engage a diverse set of stakeholders to accomplish the goal, because one organization alone can't do it, and it certainly can't happen without funding. And so as a result, Creative Europe, which is the division of the European Union that funds these types of sectors, eventually did award some good monies to the European Key Change to do their work. It's a competitive application and process. It's not just handed to them.
But I think a lot of good things came out of that manifesto of really being very intentional and very focused on what makes change. And then there's the global T change pledge. And one of the findings that our European cohorts discovered after five years of having a pledge, the pledge is an organization basically agrees to really focus on diversity and inclusion and being more gender expansive. So let's say you're an orchestra. You want to make sure that your principal player is a woman or a gender expansive person, that it's not only men and not only white men. If you're a festival, you want to make sure that your lineup consists of women and gender expansive bands. And not only that, but the musical works that are being performed on stage are also written and or produced by women and gender expansive individuals. When you start going down that list, you realize like, oh gosh, yeah, this is a pretty male dominated field. And then you could go similarly to trade associations, to large businesses and nonprofits, small businesses and ask, so what is the composition of your staff? Since you're working in the music business? Is it all white men or 90%? Could you maybe look to have more women? And similarly your board members? And that your board members aren't only all white women as you look to diversify, but that they are gender expansive. And because race is so intrinsically tied to this conversation around dei and inclusion, that they're not just women of color, but also I'm sorry, not just white women, but you're really representing the true diversity. So are they black, Latino, Asian and so forth? And it takes a lot of intention if you're hiring an executive search firm to do the job search for an executive, are you mandating that they bring you a diverse set of applicants. It could be something where you just start there. And I know everyone says, well, we just want the best candidate. And oftentimes that best candidate is going to be a diverse person compared to a white, middle aged man, just to use kind of a stereotypical face of things.
But that person may not have had access to the information for the various reasons that they've been discriminated against previously, or they've just kind of withdrawn from submitting themselves as a candidate because haven't seen anyone else in their likeness and didn't necessarily feel that they have a place. So there has to be a lot of intention around it. And what our partners in Europe have found when they researched the impact of this pledge over five years was for the organizations that just made a statement, put a stake in the ground. We are going to pledge to be more inclusive. We're going to pledge for gender equity.
It wasn't even a year, and they suddenly had at least 60% female speakers, including in some cases, gender expansive individuals at their conferences and their events and performers, and even their hiring practices change. And it's kind of a snowball effect, but it really starts with that intentionality. The third pillar of keychain. So the manifesto and keychain's pledge for gender equity and the keychains pledge, just to conclude it's free. It's open to anyone that's an organization, a company, a nonprofit, a trade association, a festival, music managers, people that are really working in this industry, if you will.
It's not for individuals per se.
And we will work with that entity to design a key change pledge that's authentic to their organization and their mission. And then we provide support for them to achieve certain metrics. And we do ask for metrics, and it becomes a very organic activity. And there's more than 600 organizations, I think 614 at the last tally, that have signed. And we have several coming up in the US. That are signing up as we have begun our outreach and expansion efforts across the United States. And we're pretty excited about that. The last part is our talent development program. And the talent development program is really interesting. In Europe, they have 74 talents that go through a year long program. We're hoping to launch all of our activities soon, including the talent development program with 25 artists and innovators. So it'll be half artists, musicians, performers, and the other half the innovators, which will be music professionals. It could be a lawyer. It could be someone who's formed a nonprofit or kind of a program that's working towards music or gender equity related topics.
A music manager, an A-R-I mean, really the spectrum or someone who's created something, an app maybe, or built a product or a service, it has to be kind of considered an innovator. So this talent development program that we're going to launch in the US will go for seven months and we'll have a handful of festival and conference partners that sign up for us so that the artists can perform at their festivals and then the innovators will speak at their conferences. And we have a baked in mentorship program which will really speak to everything from confidence building to fighting impostor syndrome to PR skills and how to go global, or how to build the best website and get the most attention to artist manager relationships and why it's important to have good relationships and the do's and the don'ts. So really just a two C of being a professional. And the target won't be individuals that are right out of school. It'll be someone who might have gotten a little peer recognition, they might have a management team in place, but they haven't gone super big, really, an emerging artist and an emerging innovator. And I think that's how we here in the US will start to really build very authentically from the ground up and tap into, I hope, a very diverse set of professionals. For our purposes, they'll have to be a US citizen. I don't know if we've looked into whether they could be a green card holder or not, but if you're Canadian, for example, you wouldn't be able to apply, at least not in this year. Actually, Canadians can apply through the European Keychain Talent Development program as an aside.
[00:27:37] Speaker B: So if somebody wanted to participate in that, how would they apply?
[00:27:42] Speaker A: We are going to launch an open call, so the application and we're aiming for about a week after south by Southwest. And as soon as we're ready, we're going to have all that branding and promotion material out there and people can follow us at our website, which is W dot keychangeus, one word and then on our Instagram handle the same at keychange us.
And you'll recognize the logo for those who might be listening and not watching. Black background with light, light pink logo and name.
And we'll share that with you with some phonics so you could share it with your cohorts and there'll be a lot more information parameters around who can apply and what the conditions are. And we want to manage expectations, so we create a program that's going to be fun and innovative and challenging as well and doing some of that hard work through the mentorship because you dig up issues and people can be triggered by going into negative experiences that they've had in this industry or even in their younger years. And it comes up when you sit down and really reflect on it. So it really should be a holistic and one stop shop type of a program. We're even going to provide Childcare, which we think we could be one of the first in the music biz to offer childcare in connection with an educational program in music. We may not be, but I think we might be at least a forerunner.
[00:29:25] Speaker B: I've certainly never heard of it.
[00:29:29] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:29:30] Speaker B: So you have all covered some incredible ground in five years in the international operation.
That's an awful lot I'd love to hear about. You've got the 2023 Action Plan after your five years of work and there are some results from that.
[00:29:54] Speaker A: Yeah, I have to say, I'm sorry I don't have that particular plan in front of me, but I could tell you just a little bit about it.
[00:30:04] Speaker B: That'd be fantastic.
[00:30:06] Speaker A: Yeah.
One of the biggest things that came out of it, which seems so obvious, is that measuring impacts leads to change. So, like I was saying, when Key Change had an organization sign the pledge, it seemed like they pretty quickly were able to scale up to have more women on their stages and gender expansive individuals, and the same on the conferences and panels because it's like they put themselves on notice to really focus in on this. But only once they were really focused on measuring the impact did they see that change before. An organization might say, yeah, we're very gender diverse, but we're all white. Well, then you haven't quite arrived yet because you're essentially catering to one aspect of the population.
So in the report, which I don't think we've linked to our website yet, but it could be found on the W Dot Keepchange EU website, and we.
[00:31:22] Speaker B: Likely will be including links to all of these things for our listeners out there to explore further from our blog once this is up.
[00:31:32] Speaker A: So that's the 2023 Key Change Action Plan, pledge Action Plan, and the four main points are beyond gender, urgent action, global community and education and activism for the future. And what is beyond gender? I mean, obviously that is to be much more inclusive for gender expansive individuals. So that intersectionality is truly addressed and you're not just getting, quote unquote, straight women, but more so that you're also understanding how being a black female or non binary artist or Asian or Latina or you can go down the list, is going to really change your experience working in the industry. So Keith James has come to understand that the pledge has to look beyond gender to race and other factors that people are discriminated on the basis of. And that could include race. Like I mentioned, it could include age, it could include disabilities. So oftentimes able bodied individuals are prioritized ahead of people that have disabilities. And it could be any kind of disability.
It could be a visual, a physical impairment. Even irritable bowel syndrome is included in that accounting because it can be so disruptive for an individual that has to tour, travel, be on stage and to kind of stabilize a situation. And they can lose out on opportunities because they just this long time frame. But modifications can be done to support them and urgent action that really speaks for itself.
It's yesterday, it has to happen now. Global community really building the community authentically from the ground up worldwide. It can't just be that the Europeans are focused on it and they're holding hands and singing Pombaya, but that there's a real earnest extension to the whole world, and especially in what we would say or call the global south developing economies where conditions are much less advantageous in general for musicians and people in the music industry to really focus, because there could be fewer or much weaker laws in the book protecting women and gender expansive individuals. And there's just so much work that needs to be done and then education and activism for the future, meaning that the education that the efforts that are put in place, including for example, our talent development program is considering, well, what's going to happen in the next five to ten years, right? Are prevailing attitudes going to change?
How will religious views perhaps impact the work that we're trying to do? And how does key change need to be aware of and sensitive to that?
How can we really be more activist maybe than we are? So again, I'm not an expert on the action plan. You'd have to bring the European crew in. But I think it's safe to say their finding is that more work needs to be done. And I think we all feel that and I think we also all know, maybe it's obvious, but it's good to state it, that the situation where women and gender expansive individuals are denied access or put down or limited or omitted from the conversation is not unique to the music industry. It happens across so many industries and so it really is a call to global action, just continuing the work of so many great organizations.
With that said, I should just put a know not only to the Europeans, I can't take credit for what they're you know, I've been here trying to help build and expand in the United States.
There are also so many sister organizations in place already that are also working on gender equity in the space of music in different ways. Some are focused more on diversity and race matters and bringing more black people to the stages. Some are focused more on making sure that young girls and women are getting Stem education and that they're being funded and that they're encouraged to continue through and fight those barriers. Some are working to help more women believe that you too can be an engineer and we'll help you kind of get ahead. And I can go down the list. It's a lot of people and I think it's really coming to light now. People's awareness. Is shifting people.
Well, what could I say? There were a few things that happened. It was the hashtag me too movement and Black Lives Matter movement that really expedited the call. But feminists have been out there talking this talk for five to six decades and going back in history. But really the inequities have just come so to the forefront and with social media and the way the world is globalized and global communication is available twenty four seven I think it's just really all come to a head and it's impossible to just sweep the problems and the disruptions under the discrimination under the rug and we're just having to address it. And of course, if I could say it that way, the Grammys were put on notice, basically the film industry, too, where many people were calling for a more diverse host to host the award shows and what's up with only white people or majority white people receiving the awards? And to really do more of an earnest scrutiny and accounting on, well, what else is out there? And maybe that, know, prevailing stereotypes. I think it questions a lot of things, our educational system, and just each one of us has to check ourselves know. Am I making a determination about you, Randall, the second the camera went on and I saw you about your identity and who you are?
[00:38:37] Speaker B: God, I hope not.
[00:38:41] Speaker A: That's how we were taught. It's just like an assumption, right?
Or are we curious and we're waiting to know more about the individual, but not also not judging them on not judging people on appearance or where they're coming from, especially before knowing. But also in my heart, I hope there's a world in which these things won't have to be highlighted and called out.
I hope that I'll work myself out of a job as a white woman, not because I'm ashamed of that heritage, but because I know there's someone else out there equally deserving, who'll be fantastic in this job. And I'll really be celebrating when I see as much diversity as possible that's reflecting the world we live in. And it's really about that is just celebrating diversity and showcasing who we are as a planet and the diversity that we already are. It's there and not discriminating against people. It's hard to imagine that we're still so discriminatory in our attitudes and behavior, but we are.
[00:39:59] Speaker B: The neat thing that I take away from this, from hearing you speak, is that you speak a lot of the future and you've called out the past a little bit here, but the focus is on the future. I was there at Madison Square Garden when the wheels fell off the Grammys in the cringiest, most tone deaf commentary I've ever heard from the stage. And that change happened. And it's, I think, getting better. I think it's not perfect yet. But Sam Smith and Kim Petras performing at the Grammys this year was gender expansive in its nature.
I think a lot of these other organizations and other folks in the industry, black Lives Matter, et cetera, there is a reaction to all of that that is moving everybody in the right direction. And so the future and the fact that the future is so much a part of your manifesto and what you all are doing, I think is so awesome because we spend a lot of time in this industry breaking our arms, patting ourselves on the back for our past accomplishments.
And it's nice to look forward. I wonder, as we look forward towards the future, can you just quickly point to some of what you view to be the biggest challenges for the industry, for your organization? And also I always find in my life that in challenge comes opportunity.
And so what opportunities are out there beyond that of which we've already talked about here? Because I think that that's a really incredible way for us to kind of focus on the future and the role your organization plays in you.
[00:41:44] Speaker A: Yeah, and again, I mean, I cannot take the credit. It really all goes to those that have come before me and with key change in Europe and all the many individuals and organizations. Because it's not only the individuals that are representing those core partners and the people who designed the program at the outset. And there's so many names and organizations that I couldn't even list them all. But it's also their partners, the festivals across Europe and the conferences and then by extension, in Canada as well. And it's wonderful to be in their presence and feel that there's this progressive thing happening. And now we want to see this getting bigger and better in the United States. Some of the challenges are talking to men and men becoming very defensive or kind of disassociating them from the conversation because they feel it doesn't apply to them. And to be clear that this isn't a dismissal of men or middle aged white men by any chance. There's an incredible knowledge base and experience out there. It's more a request to, hey, can we have a conversation? And can we try to level the playing field so that more women and gender expansive individuals also share that opportunity?
And it's hard to talk about things like entitlement and it's hard to talk about racism and especially as a white person to go, I can't really make any claims.
I think the challenges are to really get everybody on board in a fashion where people start to feel that they want to see change and it matters to them and maybe even for some if all they're thinking about is the bottom line that they could see. Hey, even a lot of research out there shows when an organization is led by women or managed by women, you're getting higher employee satisfaction. People stay in the job longer and there's oftentimes more of a sense of community and belonging and the reasons why. That's its own research study. But a lot of research has shown that organizations that are led by women are actually earning more money. The bottom line is affected. So there's something there there I think in a perfect world we'll have a good blend of everything instead of ultimately having to focus so much on this topic. So challenge is having conversations where people aren't offended or dismissive or just disassociate themselves completely and to really kind of reach across the aisle. And by the way, it's not just that men sometimes feel those things. Women too. Sometimes women cannot relate to this conversation because it's just too challenging or it's too foreign because their whole culture and environment has been all about you know, being the woman whatever that means but not necessarily having to kind of stand up for it or stand up against a larger machine.
The opportunities ahead are really for.
In my prior role I saw this as very important. You have to include everybody civil society, the nonprofits, people that are at the ground doing the work, people in government, local government, federal government. And the current administration did establish the first ever gender policy office or division. So that's pretty powerful. The work that they're doing right now. I'll be curious to see, as the reports come out from their work and engaging the government for the role that they have in helping society move forward, building roads, expanding education, health care, areas where government can be effective, not where government might be seen as a burden on the system.
And of course, industry, right. Our innovators and business and people that are going global and thinking globally and innovating and also that they can bring money to the cause because you need money to get things done as well and for everyone to really work together. And so the opportunities are for a lot of our sister organizations to band together and I'm a big fan of well, maybe you don't want to just hit your head against the wall. Maybe you just want to do your own thing. So maybe we'll build a new system or maybe we'll build new alliances and new entities, organizations and events.
It kind of remains to be seen. I think there's some people's minds we're not going to change and there are some people who are not going to want to have any part of this conversation. But I say at the end of the day when you go home to your family or your life are you only cohorting with people that look like and sound like you? Or is that world pretty diverse from beginning to end? Where you shop, where you eat, where you sleep, where you work. And let's just look at really leveling that playing field. And I think there's a real big role for continued market research and data gathering to show where the deepest challenges are and to bring the data bring the data to policymakers and people that are really good at analyzing gender equity and dei data to understand what's happening, why is it happening, and therefore, what are some of the recommendations to improve it. And so keychains us and keychains out of Europe's answer to what are some of the ways to improve? It is to really help the talent evolve and develop and break through the glass ceiling, but also feel really solid. In their place in the world as an artist or an innovator and then as future citizens that go on to do great things but also to give back and to address governments in terms of what policy and equity work is important to be done and to address industry, not only in terms of funding, but also are you hiring for the future and are you really responding to the real needs and not just thinking about bringing your friends and the people that look like you into the fold? And I think the beautiful thing about the music industry is this is part of the creative economy. Music gives so much to people. And when people start to reflect on what music means to them daily and in their lives and how they can associate events with the song or vice versa, or think about what you were doing in the pandemic. Maybe it wasn't music, maybe it was video games, but everyone has some very strong associations with music.
This is the field that really matters. And we want to make sure that the other half of the population are also being seen and heard and respected and invited naturally into the conversation to the point where we can, in a very idealistic world vision, reach that balance and also work ourselves out of a mission. I guess that's my hope.
[00:50:14] Speaker B: Well, and it's a noble cause. You all are championing. My computer is unplugged and about to die, and we are at pretty much the end of our normal podcast time here. So I want to thank you for everything you do and for everything your organization does. Everyone, this is Andrea de Silva from Key Change US here, joining us on the Music Industry 360 podcast. And once again, I'm Randall Foster, chief creative officer at Symphonic. And Andrea, it's just been a pleasure to have you. Is there anything, websites anywhere people should go look for the future?
[00:50:52] Speaker A: Learn w dot keychange us and look for our Insta handle at keychange us. One word.
[00:50:59] Speaker B: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. And everyone, thank you for tuning in. And stay tuned for the next podcast coming up soon to a podcast player near you.
[00:51:11] Speaker A: Thank you, Randall.
[00:51:13] Speaker B: All right. Thank you.
It all right, I think. Hold on.
Are you still there?
[00:51:23] Speaker A: I'm here. Okay.