APRA Aims For Gender Equality

New stats about APRA New Zealand’s membership have come out, and they’re not pretty. The agency (which represents local songwriters and collects their publishing royalties), recently told Radio NZ that only 23.8% of their 10,000 strong membership are women.

To put it in perspective, that’s only around 2,300 female songwriters registering their songs in New Zealand.

APRA NZ spokeswoman Victoria Kelly explains, “The reality is that we work in a male-dominated industry and so we want to create an environment where our female membership increases.”

Both APRA’s Australian and New Zealand arms have recently laid out plans to change this. Over the next three years they aim to increase their female membership by 25 percent a year, and they will start enforcing stricter rules so that all their events (wherever they have judging panels, run Ambassador programs, and organise Songhubs events) have at least 40% female participation. APRA will also enforce this when booking presenters and performers for their award shows, workshops and membership events.

Kelly says, “We want to make sure that in the initiatives we put into the world, that the performances we give, the seminars, the judging panels, all the different things that we do, that women are well represented with 40 percent representation in those things. This isn’t something that we’re doing just quickly over the period of a year, this is something that is going to be at the heart of how our organisation works, where we prioritise what we see as a deep imbalance.”