Women in Music Review

Women in Music Event

Last week on Facebook I was looking at what events are happening in Nottingham for the upcoming week. Browsing through the list of events I came across a little gem called “Women in Music” from the name of the event I knew I wanted to attend.

The event was aimed to address the gender imbalance in the music industry by creating an open platform for discussion.

The panellist line up for the event sounded amazing and all for £5! I can honestly say before yesterday I had never attended an event by myself, however, it is definitely something I will be doing more of in the future.

Go your own way

The event started with a panel of inspiring ladies who were discussing how they started their business and some of the challenges they faced.

The panel consisted of:

Sarah Cole – Director of SC Productions

Jess Partridge – Founder and Editor of London in Stereo Magazine

Rachel Menzies – Director of Hookline TV

Sofia Ilyas – Founder of Float PR

Kate Nicholls – CEO of UK Hospitality and chair of the panel

I had never heard of any of these women or companies before, but they all had different stories of why they chose to start their own business and their journey to running a successful business. One fact that stood out to me straight away was that in 2017 there was a 45% rise in female entrepreneurs!

All of the women discussed their achievements and challenges in their businesses, a common topic when starting out in their businesses was the doubts from other people who told them “that would never work”. As women I believe we can easily fall into the trap of doubting ourselves before we even begin, in the wise words of Kate Nicholls “just do it what do you have to lose”.

One person who intrigued me on the panel was Jess Partridge, she discussed how when starting her business she was still working full time, this is a topic I have mentioned in a previous post. Sometimes we don’t need to go full steam ahead, quit our jobs and go with the “big bang” method, for some of us who still need an income stream its ok to work whilst building your dream in your free time.

Employed to Self Employed

I asked a question to the panel which I think a lot of people starting in business often have insecurities about “how did you transition from working a full time job to running your own business”.

Sarah Cole had been working as a stage manager and event manager for 10 years before starting her company. One of her colleagues had asked her to help out with an event, going forward a few years she was asked to run the entire event and for her it went from there.

Jess Partridge had finished university and struggled to get a job and enjoyed attending gigs. Jess found that there was nowhere that listed all of the gigs happening in London in one place. So she decided to create a magazine that solved that problem. As previously mentioned Jess still works alongside her running her very successful business.

Rachel Menzies had been working in her field of expertise for 10 years before beginning her company, she felt that she had enough experience to run her own company which links emerging artists with sync companies. Rachel mentioned in the early days of starting her business she was still consulting freelance, until she got to a point where she felt she no longer needed to work.

Sophia Ilyas had been working for a record label for five years, within her time at the label she was asked to do the PR for the artist. Sophia then decided to start her own company with the idea to combine a record label along with PR. Whilst still working Sophia calculated how much she needed to earn to be able to quit working and become self-employed.

Kate Nicholls had been working for a company for many years, upon deciding to start her own company, Kate decided to give herself a 6 months plan to build her business before leaving her job.

I found all of these answers very helpful and think when moving from my job to launching my business, I will definitely continue to work full time until I feel I am able to provide the same salary for myself.

Know your worth

One of the subjects that came up in the discussion was as women we tend to ‘feel bad’ about charging clients for our services. Sophia started the subject when mentioning she felt bad for charging her clients for a Skype call which her account had told her she needed to.

There is a lot of research around this subject and is also something which Denise Duffield-Thomas included in her book. As women we are very open to providing our skills for less money than we require or even for free. I am included in this field, I will help people plan their event or help them with their social media marketing for free.

From all of the answers from the panel it concluded with understanding what you’re competitors are charging, don’t feel the need to put your prices lower just because you think this will increase sales. A quote I will always remember “know your worth then add tax”.


I cannot emphasise enough the importance of networking and this event was a great opportunity to build connections. I had a conversation with a lady who runs an event called Acoustickle and also the camera women who were filming the event. You never know when you you’re going to meet at these events and for £5 what is there to lose.

I was interviewed after the event and was asked what I think as women we need to change and my advice was to start networking and working together. As women we are naturally protective of our ideas, we sometimes see them as our babies and we would rather do all of the work ourselves, than let someone “mess it up”. However, how amazing would it be if we had a team of amazing women around us who can support our businesses?

This event incorporated everything we as women need to really run a successful business, this applies to every area not just music.

Be sure to go and follow Women in Music on social media and if you're in Nottingham I hope to see you at their next event.

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