Mushroom Women Celebrate International Women’s Day

This year we’re celebrating International Women’s Day by shining the light on the incredible group of female-identifying legends working across the many fields of Mushroom Group in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

While we’re still striving towards an equal representation of women in any industry, workplace and in senior positions, we’ll take this opportunity to mirror and acknowledge the phenomenal women who shape the music industry and will continue to revolutionise it.

For IWD 2018, we’re donating to Fitted for Work. A local organisation that provides a service to disadvantaged women in Australia so they can help find jobs and keep jobs. Their work stems from employment services and training, donating clothes suitable for interviews, and leadership and support to women who may have been disadvantaged by homelessness, domestic violence, migration or any other adversity.

Jules Bain
Creative Manager – Mushroom Sync

How did you begin your career in the music industry? In the early 1990s when I landed in London, I temped first for Simon Cowell at BMG then I met with the MD of Virgin Records, we talked about cricket and country and western music and he gave me the job as his PA.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Know your worth.

Who are your role models in the industry? BEYONCE

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Treat everyone the same…..the junior in the office and the CEO. Nobody likes attitude.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Coming home after years in the UK to such a warm family run company. So many music industry stories are unpublishable but happy to share after a few drinks.

Samantha Geyer, Lauren Bordonaro, Teresa Kamcev + Katrina Merican
Samantha Geyer, Lauren Bordonaro, Teresa Kamcev + Katrina Merican

Lauren Bordonaro
Accounts Officer – Mushroom Group (Finance)

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I think there is a lot of spotlight on female artists (which of course, is important) but I feel like there isn’t as much exposure for the women behind the music: the producers, the label managers, etc.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Learning the different financial /business models of the industry.

Who are your industry role models? Sylvia Massy – Record Producer (American).

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “The is the Music, the music industry and the music business: Love the first, Know the second, And outwit the third.”

Name one female artist to watch right now: She’s been a recording artist for few years, but Tori Amos’ last record “Native Invader” shows that she’s still got “it”.

Linda Bosidis
Head of A&R – Mushroom Music Publishing

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Double standards. Be yourself, I don’t act tough or try to operate, speak or work like a man. I love bringing a female perspective and voice. Own it and value yourself. The industry should encourage and give women equal opportunity. Let us in. It’s no longer a man’s world!

What’s the greatest part of your job? Indulging in Australian and NZ music. Working with interesting artists & people. Working with co-workers who are proud of their jobs, who care for our company and are funny, ingenious and complex. Being supported. Flexibility, I have two young daughters it’s vital to maintain a healthy balance.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? What’s your objective? There has to be a purpose, it’s not just the pay cheque, it’s finding fulfilment and balance. Listen. Learn. Don’t bullshit. Support each other. Be authentic, be grateful, be vulnerable. Trust your gut. Make mistakes. Speak up continually. Share information. Know your shit!

Name one female artist to watch right now: Stella Donnelly.

Catherine Burton
Label Manager – Liberator Music

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I begun my music industry career volunteering at music festivals, which felt like a dream come true. Then I moved onto interning with the wonderful Mushroom Group Promotions and Liberation.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I think the biggest challenge for women in our industry is finding the confidence to express our ideas and opinions, and stand by our beliefs, especially in instances where we’re surrounded by stronger voices.

What’s the greatest part of your job? My favourite part of my job is sitting back on release day, and looking back on what’s we’ve achieved (so far). It’s a great feeling to look and what’s been accomplished and it really motivates me for the second half of the campaign.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? I’m hoping my greatest moment working at Mushroom will happen this year with Kylie Minogue achieving a #1 album!

Lisa Businovski
Licensing Coordinator – Mushroom Sync

How did you begin your career in the music industry? My initial experience was as a creative, taking live photos, which lead to promotional band photography and also artwork for EP/LP releases. After years of cultivating relationships and learning about the industry through experience, I entered the administrative world of Publishing which led me to Licensing and Sync.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Breaking through the bro culture for equal opportunities and respect.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Working with a fantastic team of exceptional humans who make me laugh, who support me and challenge me to grow.

Name one female artist to watch right now: One of our latest local signings Hatchie.

Rachael Carroll
Communications Assistant – Mushroom Promotions

How did you begin your career in the music industry? My career in the music industry began with Mushroom! I interned with promo for six months during the last year of my university degree and shortly before I graduated I was offered my first full time job. Absolute dream come true.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? The biggest challenge women face within the music industry is when opinions are formed about your ability to do your job based on gender. However, the gap continues to close on discrimination as the incredible women within the industry excel in their jobs and prove women deserve to be respected.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The greatest part of my job is that I’ve been given the opportunity to come to work everyday and contribute to something that I not only love, but feel especially passionate about. There aren’t many people who are lucky enough to be able to say that.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Jack River.

Josephine Choimes
Creative Manager – Mushroom Sync

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I blame it all on my Saturn return…

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? First part of question: ego and arrogance. Second part of question: re-programming.

Who are your role models in the industry? My role models in the industry are: any humans who can remain assertive and kind (funny is the cherry on top). Luckily, I work with plenty of awesome woman like that.

What’s the best advice you want to share? What I try to remind myself of self every, which is the amalgamation of various readings, existential crises and pithy words from my awesome, potty mouthed mother: don’t take things personal, try to remain self-aware, be generous, don’t be too proud to say sorry & never put up with shit

Name one female artist to watch right now: Fair Maiden.

Samantha Clode
Communications & Artist Relations Senior Manager – Mushroom Promotions

How did you begin your career in the industry? I worked for free! For over six months. Finished a uni degree in communications, then interned at magazine publisher Terraplane Press. My dream was to be a music journalist, like hip teenager Cameron Crowe on the road for ’80s Rolling Stone USA. The heyday!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this?: Same challenge facing ALL women – sexism. The boys’ club mentality still pervades. Kim Deal recently told The Guardian: “Misogyny is the backbone of the music industry”. Is it up to women to ‘overcome’ it, though, or up to men to call other men out and stop the bad behaviour?

What’s the greatest part of your job? Loads! Earning a salary from the arts (as opposed to products which have no value to society) is the best. Dave Grohl joking backstage re early Nirvana tours, or watching John Grant warm-up at a baby grand, or listening to City Calm Down’s album months early ain’t bad!

Who are your role models in the industry? (Local / global):  There is no artist male or female more visionary than Patti Smith & PJ Harvey. In AU music biz, women who are great at their jobs: Viv Fantin, Mardi Caught, Cathy Oates, Gabe Cramb, Adalita, Bronwyn Tasker, Sahara Herald Shepard, Jess Keeley, Rina Ferris, Stacey Piggott. Many others not named.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? (Maybe it’s both, maybe it’s unpublishable): Mushroom internal shenanigans are hilarious & involve a lot of hangovers. Nothing is better than watching Phoenix play six shows in a week; tee’ing up a live crocodile for Josh Homme; dealing with the lovely Warren Ellis for Sugar Mtn. It’s all gold at the end of the day.

Ella Cochrane
Head Of Domestic Label Artist Relations – Mushroom Promotions

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I studied journalism at uni and after a stint in the UK working in PR I started out in a boutique agency in Brisbane called The PR Company whose clients included Chugg and Frontier. I moved to Melbourne 4 years later and have been with Mushroom for 5 years now.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I think one of the biggest challenges women face is lack of recognition and an ongoing struggle to reach those top senior managerial roles. The boys club mentality is alive and well and we need to overcome it. I believe with enough passion we can!

What’s the greatest part of your job? Meeting so many amazing and creative people – whether they’re in the industry or artists themselves. I love that I have a small part in furthering people’s careers and helping them achieve their dreams.

Who are your role models in the industry? I think every woman who has the tenacity and passion and who is willing to work really fucking hard is a role model to all the other women doing the same thing.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t let anyone get in the way of what you want. If you’re willing to work hard and you can back yourself 100% you cannot fail!

Name one female artist to watch right now: Jack River.

Marihuzka Cornelius
A&R Manager – Ivy League

How did you begin your career in the music industry? Before working at labels, I started my career in the industry as a content producer, compiling syndicated gig guides for a publishing company. I then became the editor of the Gig’s & Arts sites at Ninemsn and ended up at MySpace as the Music Editor.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? The lack of women in executive positions. It’s hard to feel empowered when you don’t see yourself reflected amongst the leaders of your industry. I think we need to empower and support the women around us, so they have the confidence to climb that corporate ladder.

What’s the greatest part of your job? I get to be creative and work on music with artists I like! Making an album, working on edits, listening to mixes, picking producers – it’s the best. I love that I get to see a song go from the ‘potential’ of a demo to fully realised!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Ask for what you want. Men aren’t afraid to do this, women struggle with it more than they should!

Name one female artist to watch right now: Hatchie.

Caitlin Costello
Legal Assistant – Mushroom Group

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I’ve grown up in the music industry, both my parents have worked in music their whole lives so it was inevitable that I would involve music in my career in some way!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? We need more women in high positions in the industry.

What’s the greatest part of your job? It goes without saying the people I work with and the people I meet through my work. Also, the diversity in the work we do in the legal department, everyday is different and you get to see and understand many different aspects of the business and the wider industry.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Getting to attend the after party with the Rolling Stones in Auckland after their final show on the tour in 2014.

Artists to watch out for? Julia Jacklin.

Hannah Costello
Digital Content Assistant – Frontier Touring

How did you begin your career in the music industry? Fresh out of school, I worked as an assistant within Mushroom Group’s Corporate Relations division before making the move over to the Promotions team. Both landed me where I am now in the digital world of Frontier.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I see and hear about a lot of challenges in the music industry for women over all different roles, from unbalanced lineups to unequal pay. But for me it would be acknowledgment and respect. Gender shouldn’t come into play when your kicking ass in your field.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Seeing an artist’s live show after working on it behind a computer screen for ‘x’ amount of time.

Who are your role models in the industry? I couldn’t put it down to anyone in particular as I see women of all ages in all different roles being a huge influence on a daily basis. From my friends killing it as female DJs to women here at Frontier.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Female artist Tony Gum put it perfectly when she said that we are living in a fortunate generation in which women are sitting at the forefront of influence. Let’s utilise this and make our wins theorised in history.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Back when i worked in Corporate Relations i had to swim with the sharks at Melbourne Aquarium just in case The Rolling Stones wanted to do it when they toured here in 2014.

Name one female artist to watch right now: RIMON, Jorja Smith & Emily Wurramara.

Zoe Coverdale
Head Of International – Mushroom Music Publishing

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I’ve been fortunate not to notice my gender as an obvious obstacle in my career. However, I do acknowledge that taking maternity leave has been somewhat of an adjustment. I have absolutely relished the time with my kids but I do think there is an unavoidable impact on your career.

What’s the greatest part of your job? It’s impossible to narrow it down to one thing. I get paid to listen to music and sign some of my favourite writers and artists. I’ve also been fortunate to travel the world with my job, see some amazing live shows and meet some wonderful people.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Maintain good relationships with everyone – try not to burn any bridges. The music industry is relatively small and old contacts pop up in new (and sometimes unexpected) places. Be true to yourself and keep your integrity intact. Trust your instincts.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? I won’t forget taking Laura Marling out to lunch early in her career while she was on tour in Melbourne. She was traveling with a guitarist, but we were far more interested in Laura, of course. Her guitarist was Marcus Mumford. Of the yet-to-be-huge Mumford & Sons.

Sarah De La Rue
Digital Content Coordinator – Mushroom Group

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I swore in my cover letter.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Answering questionnaires like this. It’s a challenge – but hopefully a step in the right direction towards creating awareness and change.

Greatest part about your job? Convincing artists to do dumbshit with me – shout out to Vance Joy who finessed my frisbee skills.

Greatest moment working at Mushroom? Meeting Kelly Rowland. Finding Kate Dyktynski.

Who are your role models in the industry? Zan Rowe + SZA.

Female artist to watch right now: Fazerdaze.

Suzi Dhnaram
Receptionist/Immigration Coordinator – Frontier Touring

How did you begin your career in the music industry? In 1995 I met someone through a mutual friend, who was on The Angels tour selling merch. We became close friends. She took me under her wing and taught me about the world of cotton. She handed me the reins to my first tour – Hunters & Collectors 1995/96.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Women in the industry are a force. Challenges are attitudes/beliefs of SOME men, though women don’t see that as challenging like they used to. Intelligent men respect women in the industry (and in general) and know they can get shit done on the same level (or better than!) any man.

What’s the greatest part of your job? A combination. The people. The camaraderie. The excitement of this industry with so much talent. The glamour (ha!) I’ve made life-long friends here and have learnt/am still learning so much to which I am grateful.

Who are your role models in the industry? The women at Mushroom. Amazeballs! First hand-watching Oana and Sahara and the incredible amount of effort they put into their work. Kat Rallis from Live Nation. I have watched her work and she is calm, collected and gets it done. She, too, is inspirational.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Not everyone will like you, even though you may want them to. Regardless of anything, stay true to who you are. The right people will love you the way you are…quirks and all. Once you’re comfortable in your own skin, good things will come.

Georgia Dickinson
Accounts – The Harbour Agency

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I think the biggest challenge women face in the industry is the lack of power we have in managerial roles. I think we can overcome this by placing ourselves in these roles and showcasing our skills to a large audience.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The greatest part of my job is the fact that I am surrounded by creative minds everyday! I adore working alongside something I love everyday, like the creative arts, so I pretty much love every part of my job.

Who are your role models in the industry? Locally, I have a lot of role models in the industry, they range from inside of The Mushroom Group like my colleague Jess Wust to people in other companies like my old JMC Academy lecturer Simone Parrott. Globally, I love the work of Interscope A&R coordinator Caroline Ellis.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? The best advice I’ve received is probably from my mum which is to never lose your values in a working environment. In my perspective, the best policy is transparency and honesty and I like to keep that in check with all my colleagues.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Billie Eilish!

Sarah Dileo
Digital Content Manager – Frontier Touring

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Representation and recognition in so many areas of the industry; neither are particularly easy tasks to tackle but I think the more they are discussed and challenged the closer we’ll get.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Finally seeing a tour kick off after what’s often months of planning and anticipation. I don’t think I could ever get sick of hearing an audience’s screams and cheers as the artist first walks onto the stage.

Who are your role models in the industry? I’m lucky enough to share an office with so many legends who impress and inspire me everyday with their creativity, passion and work ethic. And also Beyonce.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Ask for what you want. Men aren’t afraid to do this, women struggle with it more than they should!

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? When a baby goat named Gilligan popped in to visit the Mushroom Promotions office. Equally strange and great.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Kira Puru.

Brigid Dixon
Lawyer, Legal and Business Affairs – The Mushroom Group of Companies

How did you begin your career in the music industry? Officially, I filled in for four months while another lawyer was on long service leave in 2016 and then refused to leave. Unofficially, I organised a Battle of the Bands at my high school when I was 14.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Our challenges in the industry reflect the challenges of women more broadly – lack of representation, juggling the double burden and living in a world that wasn’t built in our image. Encourage other women, speak up, actively look for women EVERYWHERE and wear what you want – they’re my mottos.

Who are your role models in the industry? Julie Greenwald, Jody Gerson, Linda Bosidis and Mardi Caught. They live their lives authentically and somewhere along the line they each made the decision that the best way to be in a room of people who didn’t look like them, was to be themselves.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Gloria Steinhem says “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.” My Mum says “Don’t just be interesting, be interested.” And my Grandmother says “You must do it, because there are women who fought for it.”

Name one female artist to watch right now: Haiku Hands. But don’t watch, dance.

Sarah Donelly
Project Director & EA to Matt Gudinski – Mushroom Group, Illusive Presents

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? That this box is limited to 50 characters. Can I please have some more space? 🙂 Equal opportunity. If someone is good at their job, that’s it. No gender discussion required.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Working on an idea and bringing it to life! Whether it be an event, tour, label artist or exhibition, if we dream it, we have the opportunity to do it. Making a tour come to life from a deal memo is a wonderful thing to be a part of.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? You’re never too good to help with a job that needs doing.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Meeting Daryl Braithwaite.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Sabrina Claudio.

Heidi Ettema

Mushroom Labels Coordinator/Communications Coordinator – Mushroom NZ

How did you begin your career in the music industry? Started working part-time at The CD & DVD Store, Dunedin Airport NZ.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Waking up and not being bummed out going to work is a good feeling!

Who are your role models in the industry? I reckon we all work with a pretty kickass bunch of wonderful humans.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Don’t get angry, get organised.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? The Mushroom NZ/Eccles annual Christmas Card shoot . Strangest or greatest? You choose.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Dream Wife/ Stella Donnelly/ Jess B.

Hayley Franklin
Freelance Writer – Mushroom Group

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I started as a fangirl and took any opportunity I could find to worm my way into the industry, including the FReeZA mentorship and interning with Mushroom Group. Now I write about, perform in and manage bands!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I feel like women are often valued for their looks rather than their talents or just treated like a novelty. We have to be unafraid of our power. Be confident, strong, intimidating or whatever the job requires, and never apologise just to boost someone else’s ego.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Hearing all the best local music before anyone else!

Who are your role models in the industry? All of the powerful women at Mushroom, and Grimes for her strong DIY attitude.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Support other girls in the industry, rather than competing against them.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Hexdebt.

Samantha Geyer

Junior accounts clerk – Mushroom Group (Finance)

What’s the greatest part of your job? Working with great people in fun environment!

Who are your role models in the industry? Tash Sultana because she started out busking and now she is selling out shows world wide.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Good advice is beyond all price.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? The day that Michael brought in the Melbourne Cup followed by two free nights at Crown Towers with my Mushroom friends.

Eloise Glanville
Operations Manager + EA to Director – Mushroom Promotions

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? One that comes to mind is that a male can make a comment with great passion, intensity or anger and the same from a female may be considered to be “her just being emotional”. The solution – forget the gender, just hear the words.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Stepping through the door each day and wondering what might cross my desk – it’s never mundane..

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Complete every task with all your effort, have fun, say what you mean and hopefully learn something new each day.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Gosh, there are so many to choose from. I’m proud of my small role in helping to bring the epic Sound Relief concert @ the MCG together.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Cable Ties.

Lauren Grice
Radio & Artist Relations Manager

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I studied music business and tech production at Tafe, then a diploma of audio engineering and got into a retail music marketing company from there, which lead to a coordinator role in promotions at a record label.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry: Being heard. And being seen. And not being afraid to have the confidence to make yourself be heard and seen in an environment that can (sometimes subconsciously) try to silence the power of a Woman’s voice.

What’s the greatest part of your job?  Working with some of the biggest female and male colleagues I would choose to surround myself with if the choice had of been mine. Representing some of my favourite and most respected label and touring artists of now and of all time. Also seeing people at shows connect with a song you had a hand in pushing out into the world, that’s pretty special.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?  Know your worth. In your professional life and in life in general.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom?  Probably Rod Stewart walking out of his dresser and saying ‘gday sweetheart’ to me and shaking my hand.

Julia Hill
Head of International & Catalogue Label Artist Relations – Mushroom Promotions

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I started at the CD single counter at an independent – Edels Music store in Pitt St Sydney.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Being dismissed by people outside of workplace you deal with thinking you may not know what you are talking about and being talked down to.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Breaking artists.

Who are your role models in the industry? Nadya Balzarolo, Janelle McCarthy.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t stick ya dick in the till.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Aurora.

Teresa Kamcev
Assistant Accountant – Mushroom Group (Finance)

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I have always wanted to work in the music industry and got my start as an Assistant Tour Accountant for AC/DC’s Rock or Bust Tour. It was a 3 month contract with Van Egmond Group (which extended) spending 6 weeks on the road in Australia & New Zealand. It was an amazing opportunity!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? There are many challenges, but I always say be yourself, believe in yourself & your work will do the talking.

What’s the greatest part of your job? My job as a whole. It’s wonderful that I get to go to work every day in an industry that I love.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? It’s a small industry. Always be considerate & kind to everyone you deal with. You just never know when you’ll work with them again.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? I’ve only been at Mushroom for 3 months, so don’t have one yet.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Nita Strauss. An incredibly talented guitarist & she has recently been named the first ever female Ibanez (Guitars) Signature Artist!

Siobhan Kranz
Digital Communications Manager – Mushroom Promotions

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I applied to work at my local CD shop (Civic Music in Ipswich…RIP) about 2394776237 times when I was a kid, but no dice. Instead I interned at various music companies throughout uni and finally landed a “proper” job in 2013.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? There are so many challenges, but I think overcoming unconscious bias is one, as well as the fact that women tend to populate a very small fraction of jobs at a senior management, executive and board level. We overcome it by making sure women are represented in EVERY setting.

Who are your role models in the industry? Jody Gerson is a pretty phenomenal force.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Never compromise on your own values and morals.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? The bus ride from Carousel to the afterparty at last year’s Christmas party. It’s a miracle no one was injured.

Name one female artist to watch right now: G Flip.

Anita Lascaridis
Label Admin Manager – Mushroom Labels

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I started as a Sales Assistant at Sanity, then heard of a job opening at Sony Music for a Branch Co-ordinator. I didn’t get the job but they needed a receptionist so they offered me that instead and I took it. A year later I became the Branch Co-ordinator.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Woomen are underrepresented in the industry’s top tiers. A lot of men subconsciously don’t see women as equals. IWD shouldn’t only be about shining a spotlight on women, but also educating men.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The people I work with.

Who are your role models in the industry? I don’t really have a role model but there are many I look up to. I have worked with/for a lot wonderful and inspiring people in the industry. I greatly admire the behind the scenes people quietly sweating it out in the engine room, keeping things running well.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Every day at Mushroom there is a strange moment.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Hatchie’s trajectory is pretty exciting to watch at the moment.

Julie Lawless
Social Media & Marketing Co-ordinato – Frontier Comedy

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I was on the front lines of hospo/venue management when a comedian friend sent me an ad for a comedy club manager’s role with the note, “fancy bossing some comedians around?” I did! Several years later I moved on to work with Andrew Taylor & Jeff Green.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Women are very well represented behind the scenes of the comedy industry. Female identifying comedians however are unfortunately forever waging a tiresome battle against sterotypical presumptions about their material. The simple solution is, don’t believe the hype cos it just aint true, there are some REALLY funny chicks out there!

What’s the greatest part of your job? Getting to work and sometimes befriend people whose work you admire is always great – even more so when it’s a childhood hero (like the time I had coffee with a Goodie- Graeme, if you’re wondering). Finding creative ways to hustle, a supportive environment, fun workplace, and great team.

Who are your role models in the industry? Elayne Boosler and her comrades in the 70’s who fought for comedians to be paid. Mitzi Shore was selling out houses every night and refusing to pay comics as playing her venue was an “opportunity” – still a familiar line in the Arts. The comics struck for, and won, pay.

Rachel Ligertwood
Marketing Manager – Roundhouse Entertainment (A Day On The Green and A WEEKEND)

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Women have come a long way and still have a long way to go – in music and all industries. Much can be overcome by surrounding yourself with people you trust, having strength and confidence in yourself and the ability to speak up when you are unhappy about a situation.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Seeing the concerts come together and knowing I played a role. I work with an incredible team and we’re all passionate about ensuring everyone involved has the best experience possible. It’s all about the acts and presenting them in a unique setting, and connecting people to create shared happy memories.

Who are your role models in the industry? My greatest female role model is Roundhouse Director Anthea Newton. She is a fearless leader – strong, efficient and effective in her communication and always inclusive in her approach. From Anthea I have learnt to trust my instinct, listen/collaborate and always come from a position of integrity and respect.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? As a working mother the best advice I’ve been given is to be present and focussed on where I am/what I’m doing, rather than let my mind wander to what happened earlier or what’s coming next. I have found this advice invaluable in being productive and creating a work/life balance.

Maddy Lynch
Assistant – Mushroom Group / Frontier

How did you begin your career in the music industry? A recommendation from a fab female colleague – then taking a leap.

What’s the greatest part of your job? I have never felt so much work appreciation as I do from this company. Working hard and then seeing it pay off & The energy that you feel from a gig when the artists and audience unite through the love of a tune, beat & lyric.

Lauren McCully
Assistant to Matt Gudinski – Illusive Presents

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I studied Entertainment Management at the Aus Institute of Music in Sydney, completed a six month internship at Mushroom Promotions through my course and have been a happy employee ever since!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? The biggest challenge by far is breaking through the glass ceiling. The need of gender diversity in senior leadership levels, more women on boards with key involvement in strategic decision making. There’s studies/reports on this already, we need to keep moving forward to make our voice heard.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Every day I get to learn something new and be a part of a bigger picture. Starting in promo and watching how excited and passionate the artists’ are and getting to promote their hard work is a pretty cool thing to be a part of.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Too many great moments to count. My strangest moment would have to be buying Dan Sultan a new pair of jeans when we were on promo, it was pretty Killer.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Jessie Reyez.

Cara McDonald
Business Manager – Mushroom Group

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I finished my degree, I knew I didn’t want to work in practice and music had always been huge part of my life. My interview at Mushroom was literally my first one… I started my role at Mushroom as a Graduate Accountant working across labels and Roundhouse.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? If someone said “visualise what a Producer looks like, a Roadie, a Company Director” more often than not it’ll be male. And that’s just because it’s what we are used to seeing. Overcoming stereotypes so that females not only pursue these careers but those with hiring power consider them!

What’s the greatest part of your job? The dynamism. Always changing, always a new project to be involved in. I’ve been lucky enough to work across most companies in the group and my role is still evolving and changing now! And obviously the people around here who have backed me and always given me a go.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might feel stupid at the time but the people who ask the most questions are always the most knowledgeable. And my fave MG one… “loose lips sink ships”. Ha!

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? A period of time when I’d been involved in hiring most of the 10+ Mushroom Finance team… it was such a great bunch of talented, clever people who not only made work fun everyday but got the job done to a standard I was proud to be a part of.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Lila Gold.

Katrina Merican
Finance Manager – Mushroom Group

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Having a voice.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Being able to combine love for numbers in a unique industry.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? First few years – finding out how many people have been around. Loyalty testament to company culture.

Danielle Miles
Sales Coordinator – Mushroom Group (Labels)

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I started volunteering for my local Freeza group helping to organise battle of the bands events and other local festivals with council funds. I slowly worked my way up volunteerering for bigger events until eventually I was getting paid to go on tours.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Prejudice from those who are unaware of the impact that sexist attitudes from society have/are having on them (men and women!), especially in mostly male run areas of the industry. Greater awareness, education and most importantly not passing on these biases to the younger generations is the only way forward.

Who are your role models in the industry? Heaps of the old ‘Rock Dogs’ old rock stars who you just see working as tour managers, media, band bookers and everywhere in every role. It’s like they can’t get enough that every fibre of their being is music related.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? We’re all working with people’s artistic output so always be respectful. Whether it resounds with you and your tastes is irrelevant because for the fans it could be the epitome of music, so let that attitude permeate through everything you work on.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? The Mushroom 40 year party at Thousand Pound Bend – one of the sweatiest booziest event parties I’ve been to. I’ll never forget the vibrations from the music shaking the roof so much that dirt was dislodging from the rafters and showering down on the crowd…

Alice Mouritz
Account Manager – Mushroom Creative House

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? The biggest challenge is that a woman’s position in the music industry is even seen as a challenge. Regardless of what industry you work in and no matter what gender you are – work hard & know your own worth.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Whenever I’m working at an event or concert, I take a minute to soak up the atmosphere of the crowd and do a little bit of people watching. Seeing everyone having the time of their lives, I consider myself very lucky to be able to call this work.

Who are your role models in the industry? Marcie Allen – Founder/President of MAC Presents, an NYC based agency partnering artists with brands with sponsorship and activation opportunities. Plus she’s a professor at NYU, teaching classes to music business students AND she sits on the board of multiple charity and industry organisations.

What’s the best advice you want to share? The music industry is a very small world and you never know – someone starting out in their career now could be boss of the world in a few years. Build good relationships within your network and maintain them.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Is this the part to plug Mushroom artists? Why should we stop at one?! Jack River, Hatchie, Lila Gold & CC:DISCO! for the boogies.

Brigid Neill
Digital Communications Coordinator – Mushroom Promottions

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Representation! We need to see more women in positions that have traditionally been held by men and on festival bills. We, as an industry, need to inspire more girls to pick up a guitar or delve into the world of audio engineering, and that starts with them knowing it’s an option.

What’s the greatest part of your job? My role is so diverse! I feel very lucky to get to work across so many exciting projects and with an incredible team of legends. Seeing so many women within the company and in positions of power is a daily reminder that ambition is not a dirty word.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? “Lean in babes.” – Linda Bosidis.

One female artist to watch right now: Janelle Monae’s comeback has been huge. She’s breaking down barriers and I think the best is yet to come!

Madeleine O’Gorman
Label Manager – Liberator Music & Ivy League Records

How did you begin your career in the music industry? While studying I volunteered/interned for anyone that would take me! Mainly, reviewing loads of gigs and albums for street press. I built a pretty good network of contacts from there, which led to paid sub-editing, PR & eventually working for a label (the ultimate goal).

What’s the greatest part of your job? Hearing a new & unreleased song from one of our artists and feeling that magic straightaway, knowing it will resonate with thousands of people…that’s a pretty special feeling.

Who are your role models in the industry? You can find loadssss of them here: https://oneofone.com.au/

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Years ago I overheard someone say, “If someone gives you the ball – don’t drop it.” That one stuck.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Strangest = definitely unpublishable, ha. Greatest = too many to list!

Name one female artist to watch right now: Jade Bird.

Tania O’Neill
HR Manager – Mushroom Resources

How did you begin your career in the music industry? A stroke of good luck! Mushroom had no previous HR support or formal HR structure in place. I was in the right place at the right time to help pave the way forward for the group. Music has always been in my veins and I love HR. Perfect match!

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? We have an even split of females to males in our business, however fewer women in senior roles. I would love to see an opportunity for some of the great females in our company to move into “bigger” roles with more responsibility and a strategic impact.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The development and roll out of the Greenroom and working with managers who embrace everything HR so that we can continue to create a great working environment for our employees and help build on our already kick ass Mushroom culture.

Who are your role models in the industry? I don’t have a role model in the industry. I listen to all types of music from punk through to trance and chill out. I am moved by many artists in many ways. I am genuinely in awe of anyone who can write and create music. It is a gift.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? “A girl should be two things: Who and What she wants” Coco Chanel.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? At the DOTG with my hubby and a heap of friends (Spiderbait, Something for Kate, The Meanies) & Mick Newtown yells out on the mic in between acts “We have the best HR Manager in the business”. I felt like a rock start myself!!!

Name one female artist to watch right now: I wonder what Sia will do next?? I love her quirkiness.

Kim Ramos, Suzi Dhnaram, Jess Wust, Marihuzka Cornelius, Joanna Thomas, Lauren Grice, Brigid Dixon, Georgia Dickson + Julie Lawless.

Abby Page
Licensing Manager – Mushroom Sync

How did you begin your career in the music industry? 21 years ago I hated my film studio reception job and wanted to follow my Dad, my hero, into the music world. Adrian and Ian gave me a job and over the years I’ve worked hard to make it my own.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? The challenges are universal. There’s no easy answers. Until there more women, Aboriginal Australians, migrants, the LGBTQI community as examples at the very top then nothing will change in the world.

What’s the greatest part of your job? In my early 20’s it was going out every night seeing bands I loved. Now it’s getting results for our artists and songwriters. I feel pumped when I negotiate a sync in a campaign where I know the money (and sometimes the exposure) will be, at times, life changing.

Who are your role models in the industry? My dad, Bill Page.

What’s the best advice you want to share? I have always tried to forge my own path in my job, so I trust my instincts and never get involved in too much ‘over-negotiation’. If you can licence music and everyone feels good (client, artist, music supervisor, publisher, label) then that’s a job well done.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Mushroom 25th anniversary was pretty great.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Mia Wray.

Tahlia Ryan
Music Publishing Assistant – Mushroom Group

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I studied Entertainment Business Management at JMC Academy. I landed an internship shortly after at an artist management company which led into a job.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Working across different areas of publishing from Copyright, Sync, A&R, Admin and Social Media. Everyday’s something different.

What’s the best advice you want to share? To judge people solely based on how they treat the least important person in the room. It speaks volume about their character.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Odette.

Blaise Sherrie
Label Manager – I OH YOU / Soothsayer / 100s + 1000s / Bliss n Eso

How did you begin your career in the music industry? My first job was scanning tickets at festivals, which progressed into working at festival bars, and then driving artists. I worked my way up from there by saying yes to all jobs (even very small ones), working hard, and meeting as many people as I could.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I find it’s still difficult at times to be taken seriously. I still have occasions where men in meetings will address other men in a meeting, even if I’m leading it. I’m lucky to have a strong network on male colleagues who do not do this, but it still happens.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Watching an artist work incredibly hard, and seeing their reaction when they achieve a goal. A win is a win, not matter it’s size. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you have played a part in sharing their art & dreams with the world.

Who are your role models in the industry? My biggest role models are the woman I work alongside (artists, label managers, booking agents, tour managers… the list goes on). Seeing these incredible woman constantly kicking goals both professional and personally is a huge inspiration to get off my ass and be the best I can be.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Always trust your gut. Your opinion has value. Always be kind.

Reegan Stark
Mushroom Promotions Director – Mushroom Promotions

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Double standards. The number of times I’ve seen different rules applied to the ‘boys’ is pretty disheartening. And the sad thing is that it’s often not even intentional by those doing it. Foster and support the careers of talented females and promote them into the senior roles they deserve.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The diversity. We’re lucky enough to work with exciting new artists right through to some of the biggest legends in the world.

Who are your role models in the industry? Almost every strong senior female person in the Australian music industry that I looked up to when I first started has been made redundant or restructured out of their role by their employer. Just going to leave that there.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Persevere. Just because it sounds like a no and looks like it’s impossible, doesn’t mean it is. Believe in your abilities.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? 15 years on I still get a rush watching the crowd rather than the stage when an artist performs their biggest songs. Seeing people so caught up in a moment that we had some part in creating is pretty powerful.

Jules Bain, Josephine Choimes,Sarah Stewart, Zoe Coverdale, Lisa Businovski + Tahlia Ryan.

Sarah Stewart
Operations Manager – Mushroom Music

How did you begin your career in the music industry? Mushroom Group Receptionist.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Autonomy. Flexibility. Respect. The occasional freebie to Frontier shows.

Who are your role models in the industry? Mary Bainbridge, Anna Toman, Vanessa Langley. Sharon Osbourne.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? What other people think about you is NONE of your business.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? My job interview to be Ian James’ PA in a Court Room waiting room while we were getting a restraining order against an obsessive mentally challenged rap wannabe. He asked me one question “so can you type?”

Name one female artist to watch right now: Nat Dunn.

Molly Taylor
Communications & Artist Relations Coordinator – Mushroom Promotions & Frontier Comedy

What’s the greatest part of your job? The greatest part of my job is working in an area I love. I’ve grown up in this industry and being able to spend each day working on projects I’m passionate about from the wonderfully crazy festival season to touring acts that I admire is a dream come true.

Who are your role models in the industry? My colleagues in Mushroom Promotions who have taught me so much since I started this role, and my colleagues in Frontier Comedy who work so hard to continually grow and bring excellent comedy to audiences across the country.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Bridget Everett

Anita Lascaridis, Madeleine O'Gorman, Danielle Miles, Catherine Burton + Sarah Testolin.

Sarah Testolin
Label Manager – Liberation Records

How did you begin your career in the music industry? If you’d asked me while I was at uni, I never would have thought I’d end up working in the music industry. But as part of my Media & Coms degree I was required to undertake an internship, which I did at Frontier Touring… and from there I was hooked.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I think women face challenges in every industry, not just music. It can be particularly hard for young females to find their place , especially in male-dominated workplaces – to speak up, to be recognised, not to be under-estimated.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The incredible people that I work with, the talented creatives I encounter every day, the general left-leaning nature of the music world. I consider myself so lucky to be able to work in a role where I can count my colleagues as close friends, in an open-minded and colourful environment.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given / want to share? Trust your instincts! Always go with your gut.

Joanne Thomas
Contracts – The Harbour Agency

How did you begin your career in the music industry? One very lucky interview with Tony Grace in 2017 was the beginning of my career in the music industry.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? With the industry predominantly being a “Boy’s Club” it does make it harder for women to be accepted into it and to actually be taken seriously. We can overcome this by tuning out the bullshit and excelling in every aspect of our job.

What’s the greatest part of your job? The live music is my favourite part of the job.

Who are your role models in the industry? Cathy Oates and Nicki Farag.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Listen more than you speak”.

Name one female artist to watch right now: JEFFE.

Diana Vidovic
Manager – Winterman & Goldstein

How did you begin your career in the music industry? I started in the industry as the Marketing Co-ordinator for now defunct Polydor Records (part of the Polygram group) , we had a huge local music roster. It felt pretty special to be working with all the cool Aussie bands like Tumbleweed, The Fauves, Spiderbait, Happyland, The Cruel Sea etc.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? Back then it was difficult for women to get the big jobs, the CEO and CFO roles, I think that’s still the case. Also having a flexible work place once families came along was unheard of, I feel this is more accepted today.

What’s the greatest part of your job? Working in a fun environment with the love of music as the common ground.

Who are your role models in the industry? My first manager was female, she was my mentor and still is even though she doesn’t work in the industry anymore. I love intelligence and humour.

What’s the best advice you want to share? I saw Stevie Nicks last year, she was full of so much advice…. believe in yourself cause you really can do anything, do what you have to but use your spare time to follow your dreams.

Strangest or greatest moment working at Mushroom? Heath James playing Christopher Cross ‘Ride Like The Wind’ on the record player.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Amy from Amyl And The Sniffers. So good!!!

Cara Williams
Studio Manager – Mushroom Creative House

How did you begin your career in the music industry? In high school I volunteered on a bunch of music events and programs, then became a Youth Worker running those events. Since then, I’ve worn loads of different hats in the industry – I’ve worked as an editor, publicist, marketer, event manager, journalist and now here at Mushy.

What’s the biggest challenge women face in the industry + how do you think we can overcome this? I’ve been fairly lucky that many of the men I’ve worked with have been the first to offer me opportunities, but I have experienced casual sexism where I’ve been completely snubbed when other men are in the room, even if I’m the one running the show. That can be frustrating.

What’s the greatest part of your job? I love the opportunity on providing talented young-guns with the chance to work on really cool projects that enhance their skills, knowledge and professional development. I find that super rewarding, particularly in an industry that is so often drenched with narcissism, egos and superficiality.

Who are your role models in the industry? I’m constantly inspired by people doing their own thing and doing it well. Passion is so important in any job, but you can always see the difference between the people who are in the industry for the ride versus those who are in it because they’re following their hearts.

Name one female artist to watch right now: Not an artist, but a group. Mod Con are so, so good.

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