Business How female leaders can excel in the music industry

How female leaders can excel in the music industry


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Monika Ilieva is the co-founder/CEO of Cafe De Anatolia (Record Label & Artists Management Agency & Media News Agency).

There is no doubt that the music industry is a male dominated sector. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for female leaders to make their mark. Women have always been involved in the music industry, both as performers and leaders. From the early days of jazz and blues to the rise of rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, women have left their mark on every genre.

But why are female leaders so important in this industry? And what can be done to encourage more people to take on leadership roles?

Contemporary roles

Today, women have taken on an increasingly visible and important role in the business side of the music industry. As CEOs, label presidents, managers and agents, women use their skills and talents to create successful careers for themselves and others. Some of the most successful women in the music industry are those who have managed to combine their creative vision with a keen understanding of the business. They use their knowledge and experience to create opportunities for other female leaders and have also been instrumental in championing diversity and inclusion within the music industry.

A great example of a female leader who champions diversity and inclusion is Tina Tchen, CEO of Time’s Up and the founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. She has been a strong advocate for women’s rights and equality throughout her career and has also been actively involved in the music industry. Tchen has worked through the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to address issues such as sexual harassment and gender inequality in the music industry. In 2019, the fund launched the campaign “4% challenge“, which called on industry leaders to pledge to work with a female director on a feature film in the next 18 months. The campaign was expanded to include music in 2020, with Tchen urging music executives to increase the number of women in positions to increase power in the industry.

In addition to her work with Time’s Up, Tchen also serves on the board of directors of the Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammy Awards. She was an outspoken advocate for reform within the organization, which was criticized for its lack of diversity and inclusion. In 2020, Tchen helped lead an initiative to increase the number of female and underrepresented votes among the academy’s voting members.

Steps to success

In my time in the music industry, I’ve found a few steps that can be helpful in becoming a leader in this industry – or, if you’re already in such a position, strengthening your brand and encouraging others.

Education: Get an education in the music business or a related field. Not only is this a way to gain the knowledge you need to succeed, but it’s also a way to foster and grow connections with others in the industry.

Internships: Internships are great ways to gain experience and learn about different aspects of the music business. You can also volunteer for local music organizations or events to get involved in the scene and make a name for yourself.

accompaniment: I believe one of the most important things women leaders in the music industry can do is mentor others who are starting out. Paying it forward and helping others achieve their goals is not only rewarding, but also helps build your own personal brand and network.

Passion and professionalism: Always be professional and passionate about what you do. This will help you stand out from the crowd and be successful in this competitive industry.

Overcome challenges

As in any industry, there are always challenges to overcome when working to move up the ranks. As a record label co-founder, here are three things I found important to take on any challenge.

• Be proactive: Being proactive means actively seeking out new talent, opportunities and partnerships in the music industry. This may include attending industry events, keeping abreast of industry news and trends, and reaching out to potential employees. For example, you can attend conferences such as the Summit 30/50 in Abu Dhabi to network with other industry leaders and keep abreast of the latest developments.

• Network: Networking is critical in the music industry and you need to build relationships with other industry professionals, artists and fans. You can do this by attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with others in the industry. You can also consider organizing your own networking events, such as listening parties or industry mixers, to bring people together and facilitate connections.

• Learn continuously: It is essential to continuously learn and keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry. This may include attending conferences and workshops, reading industry publications, and seeking mentorship from more experienced industry professionals. You may also consider partnering with universities or other educational institutions to offer internships or job shadowing opportunities to students interested in careers in the music industry. In addition, you can take advantage of online learning platforms such as Coursera or Udemy to expand your knowledge and skills in specific areas.


The contributions women can make as leaders in the music industry cannot be underestimated. By pursuing this goal, you can pave the way for future generations of female artists and executives to achieve even greater success. You can help further actions that create a more balanced, diverse and inclusive music industry for all. I believe that with passion, drive and a commitment to excellence, there is no limit to what female leaders can achieve. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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