An international perspective on managing a career as a woman composer

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Arts Management


Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts




Originally published as: Hennekam, S., Bennett, D., Macarthur, S., Hope, C., & Goh, T. (2019). An international perspective on managing a career as a woman composer. International Journal of Arts Management, 21(3), 4-13. Original publication available here


Women composers are an understudied population within the creative workforce. The authors report on an international survey of 225 women composers. They use a human capital lens to shed light on the nature of women composers’ careers and career trajectories, focusing on how they work, how they enter the industry, how they build a reputation, and how they support and sustain their careers. The survey consisted of mostly open-ended questions alongside selected closed questions. Content analysis was the method used. The findings highlight the composers’ relationships with performers, the importance of networks and social capital, the role of social media and the online presence, family support, external funding and the prevalence of multiple roles due to changing career aspirations. The findings reveal the need to better prepare women for a career in music composition, the need for more grant and funding options, the need for composers to effectively use the online space to enhance visibility and find support, and the need for a collaborative effort to reduce gender inequity in the industry.