Welcoming shesaid.so London’s new Chapter Director, Emily Richardson

After working in the sync departments of Warner Chappell, Nettwerk Music Group and Wise Music (formerly Music Sales,) Emily went freelance at the beginning of 2020 and is now a Music Supervisor, Sync Consultant and Agent for film composers. She is a founding member of The Composer Wellbeing Collective, mummy to Juniper and a fully qualified Personal Trainer.

I was always musical at school and ended up doing a traditional music degree at university which I didn’t really know how to utilise once I had finished. I moved home and took any job I could find (recruitment consultant) and tried to save some money to move to London. I was very fortunate that one of my contacts I had made doing work experience put me forward for a long term internship which then led me to apply for the job at Warner Chappell. My music knowledge and experience of sales from the recruitment job, inadvertently made me a prime candidate to work in sync, and the rest is history as they say! I moved from WCM to Nettwerk, during which time I had my daughter, and then moved to Music Sales where I realised my passion was in film music and score. Deciding to go freelance was a scary leap but it has given me the opportunity to really curate my working week into only doing things I truly care about and enjoy.

I’ve been on the periphery of shesaid.so for years, always feeling a little bit like a lurker, not getting involved but really wanting to! I was asked if I would be interested in the Director role which seemed scary at first, but after thinking about how shesaid.so is such an amazing platform to create change for good, I felt very drawn to put myself forward. My career path has been eased considerably by the generosity of fellow women working in the music industry. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today without those very powerful networks, shesaid.so being one of them, and I am honoured to be an official part of it and hope I can offer the same level of support that I have received.

We are very lucky to live in one of, if not the most, diverse and innovate music scenes in the world. And that goes for the whole of the UK not just London. I take a huge amount of pride in the talent we grow here.

Throughout my career I’ve always moved on from roles as soon as they begin to feel stale. I think this has propelled me forward, sometimes taking me far outside my comfort zone, but it has pushed me to challenge myself and learn quickly. I’m proud of that. I think my greatest achievement to date has been 2020! I’m very proud of what I have achieved without the security of a salary or a full-time job, and under extraordinary circumstances, such as a global pandemic! I’m very glad a took a leap of faith in myself.

See above (global pandemic while trying build a freelance career!!) But I would also say that having a baby while trying to maintain my career was quite a shocking experience for me. I obliviously and naively thought that I could take a short maternity leave and then go back to a fairly paid, flexible way of working as a new mother, and was quite taken aback at how that was received by employers. We have massive changes to make in the way we treat parents, particularly mothers, in the UK music industry.

Firstly I hope I can keep up the good work! But my two main focusses for the London chapter are to help open up the music industry at entry level to women from all backgrounds from across the UK. I myself experienced that feeling of exclusion when I was starting out because I didn’t live in London. It’s important that we work together to create more opportunities for other talented young women who feel that way. I also want provide more support to the 30–40 age bracket where we see the biggest drop-off in women working in music. I hope that working with the new Parenthood Committee we can make a dent in the problems with maternity policies and flexible working within this industry.

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