Dr Elizabeth Dobson, the founder of Yorkshire Sound Women Network came to Middlesbrough College to deliver an empowering talk on gender equality in audio and audio technology. As well as the gender equality talk, Dr Dobson also held a beatmaking workshop for women and a discussion on the Yorkshire Sound Women Network.
Less than 5% of the people creating the sounds, music and media in the daily soundtrack of our lives are women. Organisations such as The Yorkshire Sound Women Network aim to change this. The organisation inspires and enables more women and girls to explore sound and music technology.
On behalf of the organisation Dr Dobson said “We want women to believe they can reach their full potential and for women’s voices to become more influential.”
For the past 3 years, lecturers Jamie Donnelly and Robert Bullard have observed trends regarding female/non-binary applicants and began contacting inclusive groups within the audio and audio technology sector to ask what could be done to further promote gender equality and inclusivity.
This led to progressive discussions with the Women’s Audio Mission; a membership for women-identified people delivering training to other women-identified people, and eventually led to contacting Dr Liz Dobson. After hearing Dr Dobson speak at an Audio Engineering Society #MeToo event, the wheels were put in motion for Dr Dobson to come and talk at Middlesbrough College with the affiliated Sound Women Network forming in Teesside.
Students and alumni from the BSc (Hons) Sound and Music Technology, Access to Higher Education in Music and BA (Hons) Performance and Events Production programmes attended the talk with Dr Dobson. One student said “We came together as a group and many shared their own experiences with sexism and the inequality that they have faced.
“It was a moving part and I finally realised the extent of the discrimination and how rampant it seems to have become.”
Another attendee said “This is the first time the issue of equality has been raised with me within the industry.
“I feel I can help make a difference within the proposed supportive network with the benefit of the experience and guidance offered from Yorkshire Sound Women Network who have been inspiring today.”
Dr Dobson said “It was wonderful to meet such a diverse group of people and to get into some really personal topics in a way that was incredibly constructive and potentially important to the shaping of new communities to support women and also men in music tech, in various ways.
“I’m excited to see a new sound women network emerging from Middlesbrough.”
As a result of the event students at Middlesbrough College have started their own women/non-binary peer support group for music and music technologies in Teesside.
For more information regarding the Teesside Sound Women Network, contact Shannon Coxon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Places are still available to apply for our Music and Music Technology Courses at Middlesbrough College, click here to find out more and apply.