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Actually can’t believe this? Dance music has a gender equality problem

Less than one per cent of electronic tracks played on radio were made exclusively by female and non-binary artists

The Jaguar Foundation – founded by DJ and radio presenter Jaguar – published their Progressing Gender Representation in UK Dance Music report today.

The report investigates the “gendered representation of artists with the UK electronic music scene” and is said to be the “first of its kind”.

The findings paint a damning picture of the state of gender inequality within the UK dance music industry. In the foreword to the report, Jaguar says that she hopes the research “becomes a launchpad for much-needed change in our industry, which once began as a haven for inclusivity and diversity.” 

The report found that just 5 per cent of dance songs in the charts were made exclusively by female and non-binary artists, while less than 1 per cent of dance or electronic tracks played on radio were made exclusively by female and non-binary artists.

Only 28 per cent of artists on electronic festival lineups in 2022 were female or non-binary – shrinking to 15 per cent at larger festivals. Hardly any of these female and non-binary artists were headliners.

The report also highlighted the fact that many women and non-binary people feel unsafe in clubs. “The combination of late-night travel, dark and crowded spaces, and intoxicated crowds make for a more unappealing environment for women, Jaguar said. “There are issues with unwanted attention physically and verbally, mostly from men towards women.

The report also included recommendations for industry leaders, including “focusing on initiatives targeted at marginalised groups”, “support grassroots organisations”, and “​​education and awareness of the experiences of trans and non-binary people”.

“The findings of this report are not simply a woman’s or non-binary person’s problem. This affects all of us,” Jaguar wrote in the report. “It’s often men who are in the most powerful positions to influence change. So I ask that we all join forces, and work on a solution, together.”