Gender Balance 101: A Checklist
Want a quick assessment of how far you have come in terms of gender balance, diversity and equality in your environment? Or are you simply looking for some solid advice, that you can easily translate to your own world? Below you will find 10 points that have been highlighted again and again through our conferences and the discussions that followed. Things that are regarded as extremely valuable in the fight for diversity and that you should be able to act on immediately - if you haven't already.
1. Work on policies
... and discuss and write down the values of your organization, so that everyone who is a part of it knows how to handle sexism, racism and other kinds of discrimination.
2. The curriculum
... should include different genders and different genders should be represented as composers on the repertoire lists for auditioning.
3. Juries for auditions
... should always be gender diverse and preferably include student representatives and/or alumni. Change the representatives in the jury each year.
4. Educate music teachers
... and raise awareness on issues concerning gender balance, for example norm-critical thinking. Offer teachers the possibility of getting supervision regarding gender issues in their teaching. It could be external supervisors or internal focus groups. You should also include other teachers in your classes who can contribute with different competencies and perspectives or have a different background than you.
5. Gender Neutral Language
... as well as diverse visual material should always be provided when promoting your institution or teaching.
6. When hiring
... you should always think about the overall gender balance at your institution. Establish search committees when recruiting new teachers and guest lecturers. Hiring more part-time teachers gives you the possibility of a larger group of teachers at the institution and therefore more diversity.
7. Highligt and "create" new role models
... and make them visible on all digital and physical platforms as well as in all the PR-material concerning your institution. As a teacher you are a role model with a big impact on your students, use this knowledge actively and be honest and act your values.
8. Learn from others
... like other other artistic educations or institutions in general, and their work with gender inequality. You are not alone in the gender related problems - together we are stronger and more clever.
9. Focus on music creation
... and being creative when teaching music. This will appeal to a more diverse group of students, than a more traditional theoretical or specific practical focus. When creating we are all equal across ages and backgrounds, and we feel included because our individual and unique voice is valued. The primary task of the teacher is then to create a space that is inspiring and nurtures learning and creativity.
10. Arrange annual band-camps
... and seminars for girls only or balanced groups. Consider how you as a music teacher or institution can reach out to new target groups of applicants - how you can reach out to minorities.