Graduate in Music Week Women In Music Awards Roll Of Honour
Date: 23rd Nov 2017
Every year, 12 industry game changers are inducted into the Roll Of Honour at the Music Week Women in Music Awards and this year’s list includes Bucks New University graduate Lara Baker, Marketing & Events Director at the Association of Independent Music (AIM).
The well-respected figure graduated with a first in BA (Hons) Music Industry Management in 2006 and said joining the distinguished Roll Of Honour was a ‘wonderful honour’ and an important way that ‘young women coming into the business can see the achievements of women being recognised and celebrated’.
Lara, who has championed the role of women in the music business, said: “I took a year out after my second year at Bucks to work at AIM full-time, competing my degree remotely while continuing my employment at AIM.
“I had previously also undertaken an internship at EMI Records and then landed the entry-level position at AIM. Now, 13 years and a number of role changes later, I’m a director.”
Lara said the industry had undergone a great deal of change since she graduated but studying at Bucks New University had had a positive impact on her career.
“The course at Bucks was a great introduction to the basic principles of the music business, which are more complicated than most.
“The industry has been turned upside down by piracy and rebuilt in the streaming era, so a lot has changed from what I originally learned on the course in the early 2000s. But it was invaluable to grasp the different rights and how the industry is laid out.”
Lara said among her proudest career achievements was creating the AIM Awards, which were held for the seventh time in 2017 and have honoured a wide array of independent artists, labels and industry figures, including Adele, Björk, The Prodigy and Stormzy.
She added: “It has been said the AIM Awards are now a highlight of the independent music calendar, which is great to hear.
“I’m proud of the work I have done around diversity and championing women in music. It’s clear the work I and many others are doing is having an impact.”
Lara said there was a ‘glass ceiling and ‘unconscious bias’ towards women in the UK music industry and she was working to help provide parity of opportunity and remuneration for women.
She said: “We have a problem with women and those of BAME backgrounds reaching senior levels so we must address the glass ceiling and unconscious bias.
“Would there have been such a severe music industry downturn had there been more women and more diversity around board tables 15 years ago? I think not.
“There has been great progress though and I’m buoyed by the obvious appetite for positive change. Initiatives led by AIM, PRS Foundation, UK Music, shesaid.so and others are having real results, and it’s great to see there have been some significant female appointments and promotions this year.
“That said, clearly we still have problems with the number of women reaching senior levels, the gender pay gap, the treatment of female artists, sexual harassment, unconscious bias, lack of maternity and flexible working policies.”
Asked what advice she would offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in music, Lara added: “Believe in yourself, champion yourself and develop as much confidence as possible.
“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of a support network. Other women in music aren’t your competition, they’re your best allies.”