Hi, my name is Andy Inglis.
I am an artist manager, tour manager and lecturer. I’m also a tall, middle-aged white guy in a suit, and I’m Scottish, which means I’ve got a British passport. And I started wearing glasses last week, and when I put them on, I look like I know what I’m talking about.
All these things mean my life is pretty easy.
Miranda, Guro and Cathrine asked me to be part of the event today, but I’m giving a lecture in Istanbul, and I’m sorry I can’t be there.
I’ve been thinking about the angle to take on this for a few weeks and I couldn’t quite work it out. I tend to get angry a lot about the lack of gender equality and racial diversity in the industry, and in society in general. But getting angry doesn’t feel like it’s achieving anything. And, as someone pointed out to me, if I was a woman and getting angry, I’d be called hysterical, and told to calm down.
Two weeks ago, Billboard published its annual list of the most powerful people in the industry. 91% are white men, and a non-white face doesn’t appear in the Top 30.
This has to change, and it has to change now. And it can’t wait for older middle-aged white men to change it. It can’t wait to happen naturally, whatever the fuck that means. There’s nothing natural about how things are right now.
Men aren’t naturally better at running record labels or booking bands, or being sound engineers. Men aren’t naturally smarter than women at anything.
The Civil Rights Movement didn’t come about naturally. It didn’t wait for old and middle aged white men. The end of Apartheid didn’t come about naturally because South Africa waited for old and middle-aged white men to decide it was time.
It would help if the white men around me stood up and demanded gender equality, called out their sexist colleagues, got them sacked, supported women who suffers sexism and misogyny. And don’t give me that crap about “having the right person” for the job. We don’t hire the right person for the job; we hire the man for the job.
And if that’s not true, how the fuck did we get to a situation where 91% of the most influential people in the industry are men? White men!
Are you really trying to tell me that in almost all roles, men are just naturally better than women? Gender equality won’t happen if we wait for white men. We need equality now. We need women and people of all ethnic backgrounds in positions of power now. Our industry should reflect our society now. And as a middle aged white guy I’m fucking sick of waiting for it to happen.
Sorry… I got hysterical.
I’m also sorry I can’t be there today, that I missed the conference. But I hope that when it’s over, something’s changed. It’s time.