Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 | Page 44

the past . How do we be intentional about making change is my question . I think that humans are creatures of habit and creatures of history . And sometimes comfort comes from what you know , but how do we be intentional about making changes towards more equitable spaces and work and hiring , etc .?
Rowe : So , you talked about learned behavior . And that ’ s one of the things that I was thinking about and thinking about how we were raised and thinking that it might be a couple of generations before you see a lot of these statistics level out . So , for example , as little girls , you think about Barbie , and there was a whole campaign about Barbie thinking that math was too hard . Those were actually commercials and little girls are seeing that , and they got a lot of heat . Those things really matter , they really impact on your psyche . And so , you need to from growing up , start seeing the people around you , the images around you doing some of these other things , being doctors , being technicians and engineers or producers that you have to start going into schools . You have to do deep dives on these things and not just a surface , ‘ oh , things are unfair and these statistics are off .’ It ’ s like , well , how did that happen ? Why did that happen ? Where do we start ?
And it really starts from children and letting them see that really all opportunities are out there for them . Look at what the images are , what ’ s coming into the minds and hearts and heads of people ? How are they being taught so many different things that program us that we need to intentionally change ? So , I think just in your everyday life , from your family and friends along with lobbying institutions , you can ’ t do too much . So , you do whatever you can as you go through your personal and professional life .
White : From my end , I like to share , and I always like to make time for people and to mentor them , especially those who are younger than me , or not even necessarily younger than me . I find that mentoring can work both ways , where you can be a support to one person , and they can be a support to you . So , I think just back to my initial comment of sharing , making sure that you ’ re sharing and you ’ re sharing stories , sharing your problems , those things that sometimes you hold back , because you feel like you ’ re the only one . And you ’ re not the only one ; there are so many people . But then you start talking about it , and everybody doesn ’ t want to say or doesn ’ t want to show a vulnerability . So , I think to show your vulnerabilities and share your vulnerabilities , sometimes it feels so pressing , and you don ’ t know where to go . And as soon as you start talking about it , you find that way , and you ’ ve got help and support .
Kourkoutis : To add to all those
HK things , the community building an amplification aspect of what we do is important ; we need to amplify each other . I think especially in Canada , I think in general , even beyond gender inequality , there ’ s a tendency to not [ acknowledge ] our peers ’ accomplishments . It ’ s almost like we ’ re so protectionist , and we ’ re scared to share . There ’ s this lack mentality . But for me , I think the most fruitful industries and communities are the ones that support each other , so the biggest focus for me right now is , in addition to just continuing to do what I do , I really love championing the amazing things that my peers are doing as well . And I ’ m thinking back to that initial statement that Ebonnie made about what our examples were when we were younger . And for me , I was born in the late ‘ 80s . And the first spark that I got to start my first band was because I saw The Go Go ’ s performing a music video . And I was like , ‘ Whoa , those are women , and they ’ re out playing in a rock band .’ And I always wanted to do that . But I didn ’ t see it until that moment . And it was literally within 24 hours that I started my first band , and when I saw that with Sheryl Crow , Trina Shoemaker had produced and engineered her two albums that I was obsessed with that ’ s what made me think , ‘ Oh , wait , what is that job ?’ And then when I found out what that job was , that ’ s what gave me the spark to be like , ‘ Oh , that ’ s something that I can aspire to .’ The seed of all of this comes in the visibility and the representation . And the best thing that we can all do is just continue being awesome and doing what we do and find each other and build that community so that we can then lift each other up . And I think that ’ s how the shift is going to happen .
Stewart : I agree . And this is a lot of the stuff I was finding with this study done with Women in Music Canada that came out in March . The key theme we were seeing was lack of mentorship , like trying to find a good mentor and trying to find women who were in higher level positions of what you wanted to go into so that you could see it as a long-term career .