In an industry where women make up less than 5 percent of the workforce (source: Audio Engineering Society), Women’s Audio Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts, is changing the face of sound. In 2013, Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) celebrates its 10-year anniversary, marking a decade of preparing women and girls for careers in professional audio.
The San Francisco-based nonprofit has reached more than 4,500 women and girls who otherwise may not have access to high-quality training for a job in the recording industry. Through in-person classes, online training materials, a nationally recognized youth program and, perhaps most importantly, a recording studio run entirely by women, WAM is steadily making gains towards closing the gender gap.
WAM will commemorate its 10th anniversary throughout 2013 with a robust lineup of member activities, sessions at WAM’s recording studio (named “Best of the Bay” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian) and a celebration this fall.
Led by veteran recording engineer, musician and founder Terri Winston, Women’s Audio Mission began at City College of San Francisco where, as Director of the college’s Recording Arts program, Winston increased women’s enrollment from 12 to 43 percent, said to be the highest percentage of any recording arts institution in the United States. Recognizing a need that surpassed the classroom, in 2003 Winston started WAM to increase women’s participation in pro audio by building up their credits and discographies and to introduce music technology to girls who traditionally do not have access to such a curriculum at a young age.
“It is critical in our media-driven culture to prepare more women for audio technology careers,” says Winston. “This involvement in production amplifies women’s voices in our media-centric world. Until our society stops focusing on gender in the workplace and in regards to technology, WAM will keep working to level the playing field.”
Find more detailed information about Women’s Audio Mission at www.womensaudiomission.org.