Indie Days23.08.2017 Autor*in: Verena Blättermann

Session: Action NOW! The Next Steps for Achieving Diversity in the Music Industry

September 22nd, 2017, 11:30-12:30 @ Private Cinema (East Hotel)

At former editions of Reeperbahn Festival/VUT Indie Days we discussed how we can achieve gender equality in the music industry. This year, we will focus on the achievements of initiatives from different countries in the area of gender equality and diversity. Which measures need to be implemented at this point? Which measures did work and which didn´t have an impact? How do we achieve diversity on all levels? Which groups are currently underrepresented and how do we reach them? What needs to change in order to make the music industry a great place to work for many people?


Robert Franken, Digital & Diversity Consultant, GER

Photo: Sung-Hee Seewald Fotografie

Robert Franken has fifteen years of experience in working for digital platforms. His involvement is diverse and widespread, ranging from everything between being a CEO for cooking and parenting websites, to being one of the co-founders behind Male Feminists Europe. He is also a member of the advisory boards of PANDA, a career competition and network for female leaders, and of KITCHEN STORIES, a successful digital food-startup based in Berlin, Germany. Some of Robert's focus areas are digital leadership, gender equality and feminism. He regularly speaks and publishes on topics such as diversity, new work and unconscious bias. He is a consultant for digital transformation and organizational change.


Guro Kleveland, Chairwoman, Balansekunst, NOR

Photo: Lars Opstad

Guro Kleveland is Head of Communications at Kulturtanken – Arts for Young Audiences Norway. She was head of corporate communications and strategic adviser at Rikskonsertene (Concerts Norway) before the institution became Kulturtanken, the governmental department for the national scheme The Cultural Schoolbag, which reaches all of Norway’s school children from the age of 6 till 18. Kleveland is also chairwoman of the board of the association Balansekunst/Art of Balance. The association counts close to 50 different Norwegian organisations that work towards continuous progress with regards to gender equality in music and the arts. The Art of Balance focuses on practical work for equality of status, on an increasing of awareness, on concrete measures and efforts, mapping of the field, recruitment, mentorship, and on education and recruitment. Why is gender equality in music and the arts important? Because gender equality leads to richer arts. Guro Kleveland holds a Cand. Phil. degree in British literature, and has a background as freelance journalist, writer, and translator.

Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS Foundation, UK

Photo: Ruth Kilpatrick

Since joining in 2008, Vanessa has repositioned the Foundation as the UK’s most pioneering and effective funder of new music and talent development, launching a diverse range of new initiatives which respond to the needs of composers and songwriters of all backgrounds.  Recent initiatives led by Vanessa include Women Make Music which responds to the low % of women taking up music as a career and Resonate which encourages orchestras to programme into their repertoire the best pieces of British music from the past 25 years. Before joining PRS Foundation, Vanessa worked as an independent cultural policy consultant and as Grants Manager at the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam). Vanessa was named as one of fifty ‘Women to Watch’ by the Cultural Leadership Programme (2010) and won the music category of the Hospital Club’s 100 awards for the most influential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industries in 2016. Vanessa is Chair of Sound UK Arts and a Board member of Protein Dance and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 

Désirée J. Vach, Founder, Snowhite Records/VUT Board Member, GER

Photo: Anke Peters

Ursprünglich aus dem Rheinland kommend, gründete Désirée J. Vach 2009 Snowhite. Zuvor arbeitete Vach für das Independent-Label Kitty-Yo, das die Veröffentlichung von Tonträgern jedoch 2006 einstellte, woraufhin Vach Kitty-Yo verließ und die Leitung des Independent-Label Weekender Records Germany übernahm. Anfang 2009 beendete Vach ihre Tätigkeit bei Weekender Records Germany und gründete Snowhite.
Désirée J. Vach ist des Weiteren Dozentin bei dem Projekt „DigiMediaL_musik“, einem Weiterbildungsangebot für Musiker_innen am Berlin Career College der Universität der Künste Berlin, und ebenfalls tätig als Consulterin für den amerikanischen Digitalvertrieb INgrooves.

Keith Harris, Managing Director, Keith Harris Music Ltd., UK

Photo: Keith Harris

Keith Harris began work in the record industry in 1974.  The first record company for which he worked was a small independent UK label called Transatlantic Records. The label represented mainly British Folk musicians but also distributed the Blue Note and Milestone Jazz labels. In 1976 he joined EMI Records where he initially worked for several in-house EMI labels in the promotions department. These labels included Rocket where he worked on the Elton John album ‘Blue Moves’, Fantasy, Ariola and EMI International. He then joined Motown which was an EMI licensed label. He worked for Motown for two years ending up as General Manager for the label. During his period at the label he worked with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Commodores, Rick James, The Supremes, Thelma Houston and Stevie Wonder. He left Motown in 1978 and moved to Los Angeles to work with Stevie Wonder and became operations manager for Stevie’s companies. On his return to the UK in 1982 he formed his own management company and has been involved in the management of various UK based artists since. He has managed Junior Giscombe, Junior Tucker, Paul Johnson, & Omar. Keith also managed the late Lynden David Hall. Keith still represents Stevie Wonder. He currently Chairs the Equality and Diversity Taskforce for the Music Industry through UK Music . He is a consultant on performer affairs for PPL - He is a Senior Fellow of the University of Westminster school of music film and fashion where he has lectured since 1993. He is a former chairman of the MMF the managers trade body He is the chairman of Musictank - He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Westminster in November 2007. He received the Music Industry Champion Award at the Artists and Managers Awards Ceremony in 2014. He is a Trustee of the EMI Music Foundation, The Midi Music Company, The British Music Experience.
Keith was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to the Music Industry.

Megan Himel, Co-Founder, ProjectNextUp, USA


Megan Himel is the Co-Founder of ProjectNextUp, were she produces events focused on building diversity and gender equality in the music industry. She heralds from a background of music education in New York City, is an accomplished musician, and holds a Master's degree in Global Entertainment and Music Business from Berklee College of Music, Valencia. Megan is passionate about travel, cultural exchange, and making space for unique voices to be heard. 

Tags: VUT Vielfalt, Indie Days,

Kategorie: Indie Days,

- Das gesamte Programm der Indie Days zum Download

- Programm am 20.09.2017

- Sessions und Keynote vom 20. bis 23.09.2017

- Programm im VUT Indie House

- Music Industry Women @ Indie Days

- Das Verleihungsfest der VIA! VUT Indie Awards am 21.09.2017

- Im Mitgliederbereich können VUT-Mitglieder vergünstigte Tickets für die Indie Days auf dem Reeperbahn Festival erwerben

- Fotomaterial der Panelist_innen steht hier zum Download bereit. Bitte nur mit Angabe der im Dateinamen vermerkten Fotograf_innen verwenden


Verena Blättermann

Tel: 030 53 06 58 59

Mail: blaettermann(at)vut(dot)de

Zum Thema
Bayerischer Landesverbands der Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft e.V.
Berlin Music Comission
BV Pop
Deutscher Musikrat
Forum Musikwirtschaft
Koalition Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft in Deutschland