Thoughts on APM Music’s 2023 International Women’s Day Event
By Mirette Seireg, President and Founder of MPATH
Why are women astonishingly underrepresented in our industry?
APM Music held its International Women’s Day Celebration last March 11, in Woodland Hills, which was a fitting time to shed some light and awareness around this question. The star-studded celebration was hosted by MPATH, the first and only production music company of its kind to achieve gender parity among its 200 artists, sponsored by SOCAN and SESAC.
The event’s goal was to celebrate extraordinary female composers, shed light on the question of underrepresentation, and to discuss workable solutions.
It was a standing room only event that defied the odds.
Trail-blazing women performed soulful works that included MPATH artists and Grammy Award Winners Nathalie Bonin, Lili Haydn, and recent Grammy winner Starr Parodi. MPATH artist Kathryn Bostic, the first female African American score composer in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences --and recently nominated for an EMMY-- performed with MPATH curator, Michael A. Levine, a key mover, and shaker in opening doors to inclusion during his two terms as governor of the Television Academy. Virtuosic pianist and founder of the Female Composers Safety League, Nomi Abadi, also rocked out with a bad-ass bass accompaniment.
A lot of uncomfortable truths were revealed during the panel discussions. I recounted that finding extraordinarily talented musical artists, who happen to be women, was as easy as setting a serious intention; however, creating a place in the industry, with pay parity for women artists has been far more complicated.
In addition, as brought about by Pam Feld of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council, women need to help each other in breaking glass ceilings. This was echoed by Claudio Rojas, who also added the angel investors should provide more venture capital to innovative women-led companies.
Starr Parodi, former president of the Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC), spoke of the power, talent, ability, and willingness of women to move the music industry to a place where everyone thrives. Activist Lili Haydn voiced her belief that music has the power to heal past wrongs and uplift. Sen. Joe Dunn and Nomi Abadi spoke of the obstacle of sexual abuse in the industry and recent legislation to hold abusers accountable.
Tiff Randoll, founder, and president of Mamas in Music, spoke of the fact that when women become mothers, it jeopardizes and often highjacks careers. While this is true to most industries, it was also stressed that production music allows for flexible timelines for deliverables, which is great for Mamas in Music.
Women leaders in the music industry abound and have put a stake in representation, despite the odds. The beauty in this is that it comes from a place of healing past wrongs and where everyone benefits. This is a discussion that can, and should, extend well beyond International Women’s Day.
MPATH’s mission is to create lasting connections across cultures and continents with the power of music and envision an industry with gender parity in the industry. To achieve this, we propose the following solutions:
- Uncover differentiators i.e., unique, authentic niches in the market: MPATH has a large catalogue of exceptionally talented female composers, all ethnicities; High production quality; Fresh (non-cliched) sounds.
- Identify and engage with prospective clients that share our vision, especially those who have policies and procedures that are monitored.
- Identify opportunities where the demand for female and underrepresented composers is greater than supply (i.e., Corporate and Government).
- Nurture those opportunities by cultivating lasting, meaningful relationships.
- Build community with our growing organic partners, including: APM Music; Production Music Association (PMA); Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC); Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); Mamas in Music; She Is the Music; and, Female Composer Safety League, to name a few (It takes a village!).
- Assist APM Music in helping corporate clients to achieve their diverse spending goals.
- Create mentorship and support opportunities for under-represented groups, with a focus on women.
This is a soulful, meaningful journey with many difficult obstacles to overcome. So, my advice to aspiring women in music is that if you do not currently have a place at the table, find your tribe. You cannot do it alone. Make your own table but do something that no one else has done before and understand why you are doing it. Be prepared for the bumpy road ahead.
Proudly changing the music world for females and other underrepresented composers, Mpath Music LLC is the first woman-owned library in the world to achieve gender parity. Mpath has scouted talent world-wide from nearly every continent on earth. Owned and managed by Mirette Seireg, President, Mpath’s music library is represented by APM Music in North America and KPM Music in the rest of the world (both are divisions of Sony). In addition to managing Mpath, Mirette is an active member of the Production Music Association where she spearheaded the creation of and chairs the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, and she serves on the Mark Awards Committee. The renowned NYU - Steinhardt, Berklee College of Music / Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Peabody at Johns Hopkins, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business School all have on-going mentorship programs with Mpath to provide emerging composers and business students hands-on experience in the music industry.
Mpath music is curated by two-term governor of the Television Academy (Emmys) and multi-award-winning Film, Television, Advertising, Game, composer/producer, Michael A. Levine.
Mpath LLC is certified by WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise Council), SAM (System for Award Management), and federally certified as an SBA WOSB (Women Owned Small Business), eligible for government set-asides (NAICS Code 512230, Cage Code 8D4U8).