HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

A few months ago, Patti Smith graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, a noted women’s fashion magazine. When my subscription copy arrived, I stared at the cover and cried. Here was my idol, 76 years old, with minimal makeup and wearing clothes designed by her friend Ann Demeulemeester, chosen to “sell” the publication’s Art issue.

A writer, a poet, an activist and the most electric performer in the history of music, Patti continues to tour extensively, inspiring generations of fans. Three years ago, during her show at Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A., Patti acknowledged Women’s History Month: “I read that it’s the month of the woman. That’s really nice and all, but being a girl myself, I thought, one fucking month?”

So yeah, one fucking month? Was #metoo a success or a failure? Yes, Harvey Weinstein is behind bars. Yes, the concept of consent is being taught to the next generation. For my peers, ignoring consent comes with consequences (to them), and I’ve heard more than a few men joke about whether or not it’s “worth it” to engage with women on a professional or personal level. Regardless, men have been tasked with hiring more women. I can’t speak to their collective intentions, but if actual support and mentoring haven’t accompanied these changes, then it feels like this change is based on optics.

You know who paid attention to #metoo? Women. Many of us experienced harassment and exclusion in the beginning of our careers. During my tenure at A&M Records, I reported to eight different men, was one of two women in every meeting and experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a few executives whose job it was to support my department―beyond taking credit for our success.

Now, decades later, women at every career level are looking out for each other. The addition of women to “the rooms where it happens” has enforced our commitment to lift up the next generation of female executives. The jousting among women for the sole designated spot at the table has decreased thanks to a sense of shared purpose, even when men are threatened by our strength in numbers.

Social media presents a false sense of achievement; having more followers or more social visibility than your coworkers creates a false impression of perceived “value.” It’s hard to resist, of course, as we work in a relatively glamorous, social business. Does the effort you put into your social media make you a better employee, or is it solely for the advancement of your personal brand? There’s nothing inherently wrong with the latter, unless it’s being used as a tactic to outshine your coworkers.

I was able to attend ALT 98.7’s music meeting, hosted by Lisa Worden, on Tuesday. In the room were four women and two men (including Ted Volk), and the meeting (yet again) confirmed my belief that women pick the hits. It was his female fans that pushed Harry Styles toward global superstardom. The same could be said for his labelmates Adele and Beyoncé, as well as the other artists dominating this year’s Grammy Awards. When I want to start a song at Alternative radio, especially with female artists, my first calls are to Lisa, Hilary Doneux, Christine Malovetz, Michelle Rutkowski, Shawn Lucero, Laura Lee, Christy Taylor, Amber Miller, Jenna Kesneck, Miranda Daniels and the other hall-of-fame women programming Alternative radio. Want to program a successful radio station? Involve women in your programming decisions.

It’s imperative that we continue to support and provide opportunities to the next generation of women. And, when faced with a challenge, I’ll continue to ask myself, “What would Patti do?”

Song to Hear: Arlo Parks’ “Weightless.”

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