In June 2020 the Gender Disparity Data Report on Irish radio was published. It sent ripples of shock through the Music Industry as it showed the disparity that exists across the country on Irish radio towards female acts and bands. Barely any stations, bar Rte radio 1, had any kind of gender balance when it came to supporting women equally across Irish radio and some had 100% all male acts!
The study, conducted by music publicist and consultant Linda Coogan Byrne with the help of Áine Tyrrell on graphics, showed no female musicians featured in the top 20 artists played by four stations – FM104, LM FM, WLR FM and South East Radio – over the past 12 months.
Just 5% of the top 20 played artists on Today FM, Spin 103.8, Beat 102-103FM, Red FM, Cork C103, Clare FM, Cork 96FM, KCLR FM, KFM, East Coast FM, Radio Kerry, Live 95FM, Midlands radio, Shannonside FM, Spin southwest FM were female.
As and from today Aug 11th 2020, Rte 2fm have become the leading station to show solidarity and support towards its female acts and bands since the publishing of the report. They have now become the major agents of change in the landscape of Irish radio following their sister station Rte radio 1 who had 50/50 gender balance across their station in 12 month report.
If you swipe the below image, you will see the 20% increase since June 2020, and the notable historic jump from 10% to 30% across the station in the increase of female lead acts on the heavy rotation playlist. Denise Chaila’s single ‘Chaila’ is the #1 most played song on the station by an Irish act followed by the Irish Women In Harmony cover single ‘Dreams’. This is incredible to see equality and diversity on Rte 2fm playlist!
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Adam Fogarty who is the new head of music at Rte 2fm and the presenters such as Tracy Clifford, Eoghan McDermot, Doireann Garrihy, Jennifer Zamparelli, Dan Hegarty, Stephen Byrne, Tara Stewart, Chris & Ciara and the entire crew of producers and researchers at the station for showing how the strive for Gender balance and a more equitable landscape at irish Radio can change when conscious decisions are made by the teams at Radio to support gender equality and diversity.
We hope as the agents of change lead the movement in reaching a fairer and more equitable landscape for Irish women in Music that other radio stations in Ireland will look at Rte 2fm and follow their lead and be on the right side of history and ask the question Why Not Her?