The quarterly event will feature speakers from across the music industry followed by networking mixers exclusively for women.
United Talent Agency is introducing an industry-wide event series titled La Femme Majeure to help foster and promote women in music. La Femme Majeure hosted its debut event at UTA’s office in New York last month and has decided to expand the series due to its success.
“The idea originally came from a desire to play more active role in the women's initiatives that we've seen in New York,” says UTA coordinator Zoe Rae Williamson.
Williamson says she pitched the idea to UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and both he and UTA general manager of global music, Natalia Nastaskin, were immediately behind the series.
“That's been a great experience for me because I've been at UTA for three years now, and something that we're always talking about when it comes to UTA culture is how supportive we are of an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Williamson, who put together the first panel and networking session with the organizing committee of Tessie Lammle, Alaina Latona, Mallory Guzzi, Nicole Schoen and Tina Dunca.
The inaugural panelists included a variety of women in the industry including Elektra Music Group’s head of touring & artist development Annie Flook, EQT manager Ramya Velury and Bowery Ballroom talent buyer Maggie Cannon.
“When the actual event came about, we really created the exact environment that we were hoping to create,” Williamson tells Billboard. “They were funny. They were inspiring. They were honest. Afterwards, we had a great mixer, and women were able to network and get to know each other.”
The event was open to women at UTA and throughout the industry, who deemed the event a success in a follow-up survey, according to Williamson. The panelists discussed the challenges of being a woman in the music industry, how the speakers were able to find their own sense of community and their professional careers.
“We feel that this event in particular focuses on music's next generation of women in music. We created a unique environment for young professionals to build their network and their industry relationships,” says Williamson.
“Speaking as a young woman in the industry, I had struggled initially with networking and especially in finding that community of women in the industry,” Williamson adds. “I wanted to create a space alongside my colleagues at UTA where we could build that ourselves and feel supported by one another in our professional goals and growth and create a space that was also inclusive of women at all different levels in their career.”
The La Femme Majeure organizing committee is already working on their next event, which will take place in UTA’s London office. The events will continue with sessions expected in late summer and fall for the agency’s Nashville and Los Angeles offices.
Williamson explains that panelists will be chosen by the committee with some sessions focusing on specific topics, while others will explore a variety of topics.
UTA’s plan is to host at least one La Femme Majeure event per quarter throughout the company.
“We want these events to help empower women to take charge of their own career trajectories. And that kind of empowerment really begins with a supportive community of like-minded professionals,” says Williamson.