DJs have become indispensable in the music scene. Since DJing became an occupation, men have been dominating the electronic dance music (EDM) industry. When entering the male-dominated scene, female DJs face a gender gap and have to deal with different issues. Identifying the gender gap and the issues associated with it can help combat harmful stereotypes, change prevailing norms and promote role models. This study centers on highlighting the gender gap present in the European EDM industry, identifying the size of the gender gap and the developments over the years, exploring the reasons for the existence of the gender gap and researching the barriers female DJs face when participating in the European EDM industry. Desk research is used to outline the gender gap in the industry and to map key data of women representativeness over the years. Building on existing literature, a survey is conducted in order to explore the gender gap and barriers present in the EDM industry. Both men’s and women’s perspective are taken into account to build broader consensus around gender equality. The results show that technology is the main barrier for female DJs, as women are considered to be less technically competent than men and, therefore, have to prove themselves more in order to fight prevailing stereotypes. Furthermore, female DJs face barriers related to self-promotion and self-representation. This is because they are often sexualized according to heterosexual standards. As a result, women pay more attention to their appearance than men. There is a contradiction: when a woman dresses too sexy, others may think that she only got a gig because she is pretty, which relates to the gender expectation that she may be less technical than a male DJ. However, she needs to look pretty in other to get gigs. A significant number of female DJs believe that they sometimes get a gig based on their appearance or gender. This contradiction means that female DJs have to find a balance in the way they dress and behave.

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Komorowski, M.
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Storm, Lisanne. (2021, July 12). She can DJ A Quantitative Analysis of the DJ Gender Gap in the European EDM Industry. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from