Last month, International Music Summit (IMS) once again brought forward some of the key issues facing the electronic music industry in 2017, chief amongst them being the continued gender imbalance across dance music.

Currently, only 17% of festival headliners are female and only 5% of producers. With that Smirnoff has joined forces to double the number of female headliners. As such, together with the organisation shesaid.so, Smirnoff Sound Collective hosted a Diversity Debate on May 25th “Balancing the Ratio – How the Industry needs to address Gender Disparity in Electronic Music,” with Miss Kittin (Artist), Andreea Magdalina (shesaid.so), Leila Fataar (Head of Culture & Entertainment at Diageo), Ralf Kollmann (Mobilee, Co-Founder), Terry Weerasinghe (Beatport, GM/SVP Music Marketing and Analytics) and Mark Lawrence (AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, CEO, UK). The panel was followed by a “Diversity Roundtable” brunch at the Smirnoff Sound Collective IMS Beach Lounge where industry players across all electronic music realms went deep into the issue to brainstorm solid steps of action towards addressing the gender balance in dance music.

To that end, Smirnoff commits to fund breaking ideas for gender diversity. In July the brand will announce the committee of the fund which will include representatives from IMS, AFEM and shesaid.so and how to apply!