March 22, 2017
Berklee and the UN SDG Fund present Shifting the Conversation: Towards Balance in Music to achieve gender equality in the industry




Watch dialogue "Shifting the conversation"

Berklee College of Music’s campus in Valencia and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund present Shifting the Conversation: Towards Balance in Music, which will take place on March 22 from 11h to 13:30h at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia’s Aula Magistral with the collaboration of Las Naves Centre d’Innovació.

Shifting the Conversation: Towards Balance in Music is the result of Berklee’s firm commitment to celebrate and to encourage diversity as a source of innovation in the music industry, and it will be held with the aim of identifying current obstacles impeding gender equality within the music industry, as well as defining strategies and commitments to be taken by its different stakeholders, and more specifically by those about to enter it.

The event will feature Beyoncé’s publicist Yvette Noel-Schure, audio engineer and producer Salomé Limón, artistic director and instructor Alf Olofsson, Berklee alum music producer and strategic academic developer Patricia Abdelnour, and audio engineer and Berklee Valencia’s director for the music production, technology, and innovation graduate program Pablo Munguía. The panel will be moderated by Paloma Durán, director of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund at the United Nations.

According to Emilien Moyon, program director for Berklee Valencia’s master’s degree in global entertainment and music business, “Although I’ve detected there’s more awareness regarding diversity issues in the music industry through conversations with several professionals at music conferences, recognizing a problem does not mean that a solution is about to come. Diversity is part of Berklee’s DNA, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our students will be able to flourish regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. The purpose of this event is to define actions that the college and its students, who will graduate soon, can implement to make this industry more friendly for both men and women.”

The SDGs, a list of 17 global goals to be achieved by 2030, include gender equality and reducing inequalities as key priorities. In particular, equal access to opportunities in the labour market is considered essential to achieve these goals. Yet women, people with disabilities and other groups face particular hurdles to actively participate and succeed in the industry. This collaboration between Berklee and the UN has been designed as a platform to inspire young minds and give them a way to picture attainable changes they want to see in the industry.

“Music industry is a powerful agent of social change. It can reach millions of people, raising awareness of social, economic and environmental challenges at the core of SDGs”, in Durán’s words. “Music is increasingly a relevant source of jobs and economic opportunities. We should shift the conversation, by breaking ceilings and dismantling obstacles, and fighting all forms of discrimination in the industry”.

In words of Clara Barberá, director of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, “Berklee College of Music is strongly committed to diversity, inclusion and equity. As a diverse community comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, life experiences, viewpoints and belief systems, we understand that a welcoming and inclusive culture that fosters a safe, supportive and diverse climate is not only essential to maintaining

Berklee’s role as a leader in music education, but also our responsibility towards the music industry as we educate its future generations. We look forward to continue solidifying these efforts with the support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund and Las Naves, and are very excited to watch our alumni shape the future of a more equal and balanced music industry.“

Since its foundation five years ago Berklee’s campus in Valencia has undertaken several efforts towards achieving gender equality in the industry through empowering its female population in their pursuit of careers in music, as well as the organization of events like Women Empowerment Symposium in June 2015 and Women and Conducting on February 2017, the supporting of the UN’s HeForShe campaign in 2016, and continuous spaces for debate among the Berklee community under the umbrella of the Shifting the Conversation series of gatherings on campus.

Shifting the Conversation: Towards Balance in Music is open to agents in the music industry, students in the entertainment and in the culture businesses, as well as to the general public.

Entrance is free and on a first-come first-served basis.

Contact Information:

balanceinmusic [at] gmail.com
Berklee Valencia
Avenida Profesor Lopez Piñero, 1
46013 Valencia