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YSWN is a Founding Partner as Spotify and SoundGirls launch EQL Directory

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Yorkshire Sound Women Network’s recent Volume Up! film demonstrated that fewer than 7 percent of all audio professionals are women. YSWN is one of many organisations working to solve this issue by providing educational, networking, and community resources to increase diversity in these fields. And yet, the excuse still exists: ‘We want to hire a woman, but we couldn’t find one.’

Introducing the EQL Directory, powered by SoundGirls and made possible by Spotify. The EQL Directory is a global database of professionals that seeks to amplify the careers and achievements of women working behind the scenes in music and audio. Any person around the world can add their name and claim their space. And, any person looking to hire a more inclusive creative team can find professionals in their area.

A woman's hands using mixing equipment

A previous YSWN workshop. Photo by Angela Guyton

‘[We] face the myth that there are not very many women or non-conforming people working in audio, and because of this people don’t even bother to look. The EQL Directory proves that this is not true,’ says Karrie Keyes, co-founder of SoundGirls and Pearl Jam’s long-time sound engineer.

The EQL Directory was made possible through a partnership between Spotify and SoundGirls, which was founded by Keyes and Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato .

‘SoundGirls already had this global directory of women in audio and production, and we came together to help them make it more beautiful, more useful, and more visible within the industry,’ says Kerry Steib, Spotify’s Director of Social Impact. ‘We know that increasing equity for women in these fields is a complex problem to solve. We have to work with great partners across the industry and come together to create solutions.’

To guide their commitment to increasing equity in these fields, Spotify and Secret Genius have assembled a team of professionals and YSWN is joining Spotify to provide guidance and shape the future of this work.

The EQL Directory is one of many initiatives Spotify has developed to support equity in the audio industry. In August, they created three full-time residencies in the Secret Genius and Spotify studios to support hands-on career development for female studio engineers, The Equalizer Project’s success has continued with networking dinners and a recent Producer Camp in Sweden, and The SoundUp Bootcamp, an accelerator program for aspiring podcasters in underserved communities has been launched in the US, UK, and Australia.

Visitors to the EQL Directory can find resources from initiatives and organisations like Yorkshire Sound Women Network, including the Audio Engineering Society, Beatz By Girlz, female:pressure, Gender Amplified, Girls Make Beats, Instituto Criar, Secret Genius, shesaid.so, SoundGirls in Mexico, The Equalizer Project, The 7% Series, Upfront Producers Network, and the Women’s Audio Mission.

Members of the YSWN community can find the EQL Directory at makeiteql.com, where you can register using your email and create your profile, add links to your work (if relevant) or upload your CV.