Happy IWD to all of our female-identifying friends!

To celebrate the incredible women in music today, we’re turning the spotlight inward to celebrate the ladies behind LunchBox.

We asked them a few questions about what they love about music, who inspires them and their hopes for change.

Emily Isabel Norton 

What do you love most about working in music?

What I love most about working in music is the extraordinary people you meet. Everyone is so passionate about what they do and they have the most fascinating stories to tell. I also love helping people make a difference in their lives. Even if it’s something small like helping an unknown band get their song out into the world. That one, three minute song can have a massive impact on some people’s lives. You never know. Music is funny that way.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

We need a stronger sense of sisterhood. Instead of shutting a fellow sister down or making everything a competition or just being plain vain, catty and petty. We need to band together – pun intended – and have each other’s backs. Be proud of your fellow sisters achievements and support one another that way.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Brynn Davies (editor’s note: omg stahpppp): She’s beautiful and funny but that doesn’t distract from her extreme intelligence and creativity. The company she had developed in little over a year and the way it continues to evolve shows her determination and passion.

Tori Roe: No matter the stigma surrounding female DJs, all the obstacles thrown her way, and the constant doubts if this is the right career path, she has continued to persevere in her chosen field and is fully slaying it as a house DJ. She will only get bigger and better – a big ups to another inspirational woman: her manager Stephanie Polivka.

Freya McGahey 

What do you love most about working in music?

I like being pleasantly surprised by how many supportive and engaged men there are in Australian music. It’s a group effort.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

Shut down being competitive and be more open to working together. It’s not about being the best or the coolest but what good you can do when you appreciate your own skills and those of others, even if they are different.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Izzi Manfredi: The way she celebrates the sacred nature of the sisterhood but also stands proudly beside her male bandmates firm in the belief that knowledge is power is something I find truly inspirational. To me, she represents kindness, style and integrity.

Kathy McCabe: I have had newspaper clippings of her writing in my notebook for years, she has long been my biggest career crush. Her sharp wit and unshakable passion for music and the people in it is what made me see that music journalism is about the stories and the characters. That dedication and seeing past the cool factor and the smoke and mirrors shows you a wholly different side to music which you would otherwise have never known existed.

Brooke Gibbs 

What do you love most about working in music?

I love working in the music industry because you’re blessed with the opportunity to consistently discover new music. I love chatting to the people behind the music and have that deeper understanding of the music we hear on our radios today. I especially love the work I do for LunchBox as it’s great being able to give those underground artists a platform to share their music in an industry that’s already hard to break into as it is. They love it. We love it. It’s a win-win industry.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

I in no way mean this to be sexist, but I think women in music need further support than men as they are often a lot more sexualised. If you look at female-fronted bands such as Paramore and PVRIS, the males are often forgotten due to the sexualisation of the women. It seems to have become Hayley Williams and others or Lynn Gunn and others. They’re bands. Not solo artists. We need to remember that. I believe women also need more representation in other areas. We have plentyyyyyy of female pop stars that are high on the charts, but when was the last time a female rapper (besides Nicki Minaj) or hip hop artist broke the charts? Where are our female electronic artists? We definitely need more representation.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

My top inspirational women in the industry are:

Lynn Gunn: (front-woman of PVRIS for those who don’t know the name), uses here ‘fame’ for the better. Eg. LGBT rights activist and supporting trans rights – flags and banners on display at shows, requesting venues to make their bathrooms gender-neutral, etc.

P!nk: simply because she publicly speaks for and defends women’s rights and representation in the industry.

Rachael Bell

…The brief was for a photo *in the field*…

What do you love most about working in music?

Working in the music industry is so rewarding as it serves as a platform for so many diverse voices. Parallel to this diversity is a common connection between us all as it’s the sort of industry where you’re not in it unless it’s your passion – you wouldn’t put in the crazy hours, extra expenses, or make those personal sacrifices if you didn’t love it.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

I think women in music can be more fully supported as we move from simply discussing our differences to celebrating our uniqueness. There have been so many fantastic changes in the industry recently, spurred by some strong and determined women who are not only artists but behind the scenes in media, management, governance and sound engineers. I’d love to see this continue as we move forward.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Hard to name one. My top inspirational woman in music at the moment would be Lorde. She’s young, intelligent, funny and amazingly down to earth for someone who has experienced such fame. She also isn’t afraid of vulnerability, not just in her song and performances, but in trying something new or different. She embraces the uncomfortable and I think we can all be inspired by that.

Ella Barrett 

What do you love most about working in music?

I love working in music for the people I meet and get to communicate with. The experience and memories of it all is surreal and everlasting. It’s something I can’t wait to tell my kids and grandchildren about. The passion from other writers and photographers to the artists themselves is extraordinary, everyone has something different to say, some sort of change they want to make and it’s simply incredible engulfing yourself in their passions and stories.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

To continue the discussions and the coming together of all women in all walks of life will without a doubt continue the impact. Connecting and supporting is the biggest thing here.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

It’s got to be Beyoncé – she’s an actual queen, I’ve looked up to her since i was a young girl. She’s used her power in the industry to do, promote and support girls and women in such an incredible way!

Naomi Kaplan

What do you love most about working in music?

I love working in the music industry because there’s a poignant rawness about seeing musicians perform live. Moreover, the passion within musicians despite the hardships faced is utterly inspirational.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

I think we can support women by doing exactly what this article serves a purpose to do! Generating discussions, social media awareness, and so forth. For example, movements like #metoo are crucial f

or generating change in the industry.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

I really respect – blast from the past – Missy Higgins! She was the first musician I learned to play on the piano, and since then (eight or nine years) she has refused to be anything other than herself! Her music is real and authentic and so is her persona. She refuses to submit to industry expectations – as we have seen a lot of musicians moving to say, pop, because that’s what’s “popular”, or sexualise herself to gain a larger audience. Big respect to Missy.

Hayden Campbell

What do you love most about working in music?

It’s hard to describe. You know when you were in school and you found out through gossipy whispers that the guy you have a huge crush on actually had a crush on you too? Your heart beat faster and you had this warm tingly feeling just below your chest? It was a little hard to breathe but in the best way because at the same time, you had never felt more alive? Well, that is also the feeling of live music to me.

So, luckily, working in this industry not only allows me to see an array of incredible live music and experience that feeling of school crush euphoria again and again, it also has me chatting to so many incredible artists that I know and love, while also discovering a load of new ones. It’s exciting, it’s fast-paced, it’s a little exhausting at times, but would I change it? Absolutely not. Music flows through my heart and is a part of my soul more than anything else is.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

To be honest, there has been a landslide of change in the last two years, which has been incredible to witness. We’re living in a very transitional time for gender, race and diversity, bringing topics of conversation, which could have previously been considered taboo, to light and into the public eye. I think consistency is the key here. As long as we continue to speak up, approach equality issues with compassion and treat all the same way regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion etc, the industry will only progress forward. It’s just a matter of keeping these issues current and in the light. As Yazz said in the ’90s “the only way is up.”

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Where do I start… I have way too many, however the women in music that I love all bring certain essential qualities to the game. They represent strength, bravery, fearlessness and power and for me, have guided me to become both the performer and person I am today.

Madonna, for continuously evolving and changing. The love I have for that woman is incomparable. Also for making it okay for women to be sexual if they want, without being shamed for it. I feel her IDGAF attitude taught almost every current female artist that it was okay to be exactly who they are.

Tina Turner, for going through hell and still coming out on top. Her dedication to her craft and remaining who she is through everything that happened to her is nothing short of inspiring. Also, What’s Love Got To Do With It… What more can I say!?

Mirrah, she is everything the music world needs. So full of love and passion, Mirrah carries an aura that makes anyone and everyone feel accepted, sharing her wisdom, drive and talent with anyone who is lucky enough to cross her path. A true inspiration and goddess in the industry.

Other honourable mentions – Grace Jones, P!nk, Joss Stone, Beyonce, Courtney Barnett, Erykah Badu.

Sorry it’s long. I’m a very inspired person.

Julia Sansone

What do you love most about working in music?

Seeing other women in the industry helps motivate me so so so much. I think our fears hold us back every day; what if I’m not good enough? What will people say? How will my work be criticised? And seeing such creative, talented and passionate women doing what they love despite the structures embedded in our society which tell us we’re not good enough, is so motivating.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

Big shout out to queer women, trans women, WOC, and all those who experience being marginalised and denied opportunities in our community. Giving them more opportunities and having more conversations about it can help our industry big time.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Big love to artists like Jaala, King IV, Kaiit, Lupa J, Mookhi, Sampa The Great, Francesca Gonzales, to name a few, that I’ve had a chance to speak to or be involved with as part of my music career so far. I’m so grateful to be able to tell their stories and support them.

Brynn Davies

What do you love most about working in music?

The passion. The people. The electricity. The way that art can change the fucking world.

How do you think we can do more to support women in music?

Work with intention – hire more women, write about more women, put more women on your line-ups, present opportunities for more women to be visible. Don’t just ask us to talk about ‘women problems’ on panels, on the radio, in interviews. Talk about our skills, our vision, our journeys. Be respectful, seek to be educated, do your utmost on an individual level to support the women around you.

Who are the women in music that inspire you?

Scroll up 😉

These women are my world, the inspire me to be better, be braver. I am so proud of each and every one of them, and it’s an honour to be a part of their growth in this industry. Go change the world.