There has long been a disparity with gender in the electronic music space. However, according to the 2021 IMS Business Report, the gap is finally starting to close—albeit at snail speed.  

The annual data collected by this private company analyzes its findings through the lens of Google Search volume generated by DJ Mag's "Top 100 DJs" list. This year women had a slightly stronger presence on list, which is traditionally dominated by men.

While the polarizing list has often come under scrutiny for ranking key figures in the industry at low slots, the fact that more and more women are being nominated by the public is a key indicator that we are seeing a shift in support. The latest iteration saw 13 female DJs listed—including five newcomers—which is up from eight in 2019. Earning the top spot for the ninth time was NERVO at #20, with Charlotte de Witte next at #32.

It's interesting to note the incongruity in representation across different countries. Leading the charge with the highest percentage of female artists was the Netherlands at 11%, with Germany and Spain not far behind. The U.S. ranked 8th with less than 5%, as measured by Google Search volume.   

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IMS Business Report 2021

Screenshot from the 2021 IMS Business Report 2021 regarding female representation in EDM.

While these insights are positive in a sense, the sheer lack of representation is still abundantly clear. Even in 2020 women still only account for 4% of the demand, according to the IMS report. There are numerous op-eds, films, and podcasts covering this disparity, such as the brilliant Underplayed documentary.

Though numbers from this recent study prove we are moving in the right direction, there is still much more progress to be made. In the meantime, check out our monthly "Synth Sisters" series to discover and celebrate brilliant women producing electronic music.



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