A new report has shown the drastic gender disparity in the Irish music charts. The report was done by the organisation Why Not Her, which was set up to aim of amplifying the voices of Irish women creating, recording, producing music in Ireland following the ‘Gender Disparity Report’ that was released in June of 2020 and showed the gender disparity in radio play in Ireland.
The report was done by Cian Sullivan, under the supervision of Linda Coogan Byrne and used data from December 7th 2018 to November 6th 2020. The report stated that in the Official Irish Albums Chart over the last two years, 73 Irish acts entered the charts and only 17 of them were female. Also, in the 341 weeks Irish artists spent on the Official Irish Albums Chart over the last two years, female artists only spent 56 of those weeks in the charts.
Similarly in the Official Irish Single Chart, over the past two years, 69 Irish singles entered the charts and a mere 4 of them were women. Also, of the 500 weeks Irish artists spent on the chart over the same time period, only 23 weeks were spent by female artists. No female artist has entered the Top 10 Irish Single Chart since 2016, whereas five male acts have spent 51 weeks in the Top 10 with 12 singles over the last two years alone.
Speaking about the report, Cian Sullivan said; “If you consume music in Ireland (buy, stream, download music) it is captured and reflected in the Charts. Despite the fact that yes, some people (such as record execs, radio programmers, DJs, playlisters and streaming playlist compilers etc.) have more power to rectify the imbalance than the average music consumer, we also (as consumers and music enthusiasts) have the power within ourselves to shift the bias, however unconscious it may be on either end of the spectrum. We each have our part to share in the blame. I’d like the data to speak for itself and act as a vehicle of change.”
The Irish music group, Irish Women in Harmony, which performed a cover of Dreams in order to raise money for SAFE Ireland, also aims to combat the inequality in the Irish music industry. In an Instagram post on the IWIH account they said; “We are seeing the change and making the change so keep moving with us and let’s get more Irish female artists on radio, on festival line ups, on tv, in the press. We need to support our own because the talent we have in this country is outstanding. Lets continue to leave an Irish music legacy for the artists to come.”
Following the release of the song in June, IWIH member and singer-songwriter Orla Gartland posted to Instagram saying: “growing up in Ireland there were so few female musicians on Irish radio & TV, billed at gigs and festivals.. it’s hard to imagine yourself doing a job when you don’t see or hear others that look like you.”