Fostering ‘the gift of confidence’ for women in the electronic music scene

Women are seriously underrepresented as composers, engineers, scholars and creators. In academia, for instance, 90% of applicants for undergraduate music technology courses were reported to be male (Born & Devine, 2015). Indeed, similar figures persist throughout all quarters of the music industry, as seen for instance at the Proms where over 90% of composers programmed are typically male (Women in Music, 2016).

Our talk explains how all-women spaces provide a possibility for change. We introduce socioculturally-framed research on collaborative learning (e.g., Claxton & Wells, 2002) and collaborative creativity (e.g., John-Steiner & Mahn, 2002), and relate stories of community orientated interventions for confidence building, risk taking and learning which led to the creation of the Yorkshire Sound Women Network in 2015. We subsequently outline the measurable achievements, narratives and insights gained from an all-women approach as a meaningful portal for change.