Updated: Apr 5
Are you following these inspiring women in media and music? You should. And that is why Media Marketing Magazine has chosen to salute them, learning from women who choose to lead with ethics, honor, and value while uplifting others as she climbs benefits us all. Choosing to following them online will definitely deliver nuggets of wisdom and inspiration for your own journey. The media, music, and overall entertainment business has been adopting a refreshing sense of diversity. Many women are making serious waves in the industry. Some are major influencers, some are independent artists and some are making their impact within artist teams but regardless of their level we couldn't help but notice the ladies on this page and wanted to close out Women's History Month with a salute to them. There are many women making amazing moves, we encourage you to read this list and learn of others as well, we simply don't have room to list them all but will continue to periodically update this list, if you have someone that inspires you, please share her with us. The sheer commitment of these dope divas has seen them overcome numerous obstacles to pave the way for future artists, directors, executives, and every black entrepreneur in the industry!
In recent years, women have increasingly made significant moves in the male-dominated media & music industries. Despite the at times “macho terrain” in the industry, these ladies have opened more routes to establish gender parity in every creative space in the industry. These women are examples of the belief that given the opportunity, future generations can proactively influence the media marketing for creators, music culture, music marketing and an overall uplift within the entertainment industry to do more and more work that matters. In honor of women's history month, let’s celebrate the remarkable efforts of some of the most high-achieving women in music! To the ladies below, we salute you!
Kimberly Paige – Chief Marketing Officer, BET Words fall short when it comes to Kimberly Paige like many of the other women listed here, she is definitely a proven media and marketing veteran, a dope leader but her commitment to doing and elevating 'work that matters' consistently sets her apart. According to BET, Kimberly Paige is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of general management, strategy, innovation, and brand marketing experience with a proven track record of building billion-dollar Fortune 500 brands. Before BET, at the Coca-Cola Company, it was under Paige's leadership as vice president, Sprite Brands and Flavors, Coca-Cola North America that the iconic Sprite "Obey Your Verse" Lyrical Collection and campaign was launched featuring inspirational lyrics from rap superstars Drake, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. and Rakim. At the time, the campaign was created by James Cuthbert who is now the CEO of Rock The Bells (LL Cool J's). According to CSP Daily news, Paige said that “Sprite recognized and respected the power of hip-hop early, and it became a part of the brand's essence decades ago," but making room for one of the company's mindful, forward thinking Senior Brand Managers to create a campaign that does that in a way that uplifts and never demeans is a beautiful example of how leadership like Kim's can make room for inspired creators to do "work that matters". Work that matters is definitely needed across media and business, Paige is one that has answered that need in meaningful ways and we salute you her for it.
Phylicia Fant – Head of Music Industry & Culture Collaborations, Amazon Music; Founder, The Purple Agency (Public Relations) She is a dope music & media leader - period. Phylicia Fant has established herself as a preeminent executive in the entertainment industry. She was appointed as Head of Urban Music at Columbia Records where she oversaw a roster that included Raphael Saadiq, Pharrell, Chloe and Halle, and more. Not only that but she is also a woman of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a sisterhood committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service.
Madeline Nelson – Head of U.S. Independent Label Relations, Amazon Music; Founder, Heads Music (Boutique Music Management); Co-Founder, SodoMoodLab (Music Licensing) In short, Madeline is a dope leader in music. She has a vast array of experience across major labels (SVP A&R at Sony Music), representing artists (Wyclef Jean), and the independent music community. During the course of her career, she has worked with groundbreaking talent, including Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, J. Cole, BLACKstreet, and many others. Her label has a female staff and Nelson has been quoted as saying “I have spent the last 10 years as owner of an indie music company, manager of independent artists, and most recently as a board member of A2IM. I am a fierce advocate for artists in general but even more so for independent / emerging artists.”
Alexandra Patsavas – Head of Music, Netflix Renowned for launching Chop Shop Music Group in 1998, Alexandra Patsavas has produced soundtracks for some of your favorite films and TV series. Her work includes soundtracks for Shonda Rhimes' “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Scandal.” Patsavas has also headed the board of The Recording Academy's MusiCares Foundation as a chairperson after previous stints as a board member and an officer.
Michelle Sanchez – Chief Operating Officer, My Music Box/BMG Michelle is an experienced music industry veteran that artists love to work with and it shows. Not only has Michelle helped CEO of My Music Box and GRAMMY award winning artist Anthony Hamilton build out the business infrastructure to scale operations of the NAACP Image Award (music) nominated label, earlier in her career thrived under the leadership of L.A. Reid in what was at the time at Arista/BMG. Michelle provided expertise around all aspects of music projects while serving as the nucleus of the artist’s project. In her leading role, Michelle ensured that all supporting departments such as Sales, Press, Radio, Digital, and Creative were in concert, pun intended. From launching Anthony Hamilton’s debut album “Coming From Where I’m From,” helping him go on to become a multi-platinum selling artist to leading the end-to-end production of Aretha Franklin's large-scale performance at Radio City Music Hall for Aretha Franklin to promote her “So Damn Happy” album. With experience like that one could say that if it involves music, Michelle likely has a strong take on it, she is one to follow indeed.
Rachel Levy – EVP Film Music at Universal Pictures With more than a decade making film music, Rachel Levy, the current Sr. VP. for Universal Pictures has massively impacted the music industry. Her portfolio includes film music for Despicable Me 2, Furious 6, Identity Thief, Snow White & The Huntsman, Dr. Seuss’: The Lorax, etc.
Tavia Pitts – SVP, BET Network According to BET, Tavia Pitts has nearly 20 years as a consumer-centric Marketing leader with a proven track record of delivering growth for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Coca Cola, Sprite, Hershey’s, Harley-Davidson, and others.
Lachi – Grammy award-winning musician and co-chair of New York’s GRAMMY Advocacy Committee - Lachi is a worthy woman to watch and be inspired by as she is a strong advocate for inclusion, accessibility, and “disability pride.” She is a creative and independent artist unfazed by the limits that others may try to put on her as a person living with blindness. She has made it clear that when it comes to ceilings that people try to put over her or others whether societal, career, creative or otherwise something she smashes them. Forbes, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, New York Times, and Billboard have recognized and highlighted Lachi's efforts. She's dope for sure and worth learning some things from.
Nikki 'Ya Girl Nikki' Davis, Leading Radio DJ & Digital Media Maven, My Music Box/BMG - Host of number #1 radio show across multi-state markets, Head of Digital Marketing for a GRAMMY Award Winning artist's record label, doting mom, devoted wife, committed mentor and role model for countless girls and younger women, celebrated author - there are several roles that Nikki 'rocks' and makes major impacts in but the one that we love most is the one she unapologetically thrusts forward to her thousands of followers - being a compassionate servant leader proudly diving into her God-given purpose! We love the way she leads, chooses to do work that matters, uplifts, and encourages. Be sure to watch Nikki Davis, she is sure to do something inspiring that could uplift you next.
Ashley Calhoun, Head of Creative, Pulse Music Group - Ashley Calhoun advocates creating higher-level opportunities for women, e.g., positions such as executives, presidents, chairpeople, etc. She also actively advocates for providing women in creative settings with the safety they need to give their best.
Tiffany Goode, Independent Artist (Goode Stuff Entertainment Records); Trumpet Player, Orchestra Noire - For independent artists, labels, and touring teams, Tiffany Goode is a good trumpeter to be aware of. According to RollingOut, "Trumpeter Tiffany Goode makes noise in jazz with ‘Today Was A Goode Day’ CD". Tiffany's debut album, Today Was A Goode Day performed well, it was the No. 1 Jazz album in Atlanta on Band Camp for over 41 weeks and held the No. 1 spot for Fusion Jazz and Modern Jazz in Atlanta for several weeks. She worked for Teddy Riley for two years in his studio in Virginia Beach called Future Studios as an engineering assistant. Music has been a lifelong love for Goode, in high school she performed with Count Basie Orchestra, went on to Hampton University and eventually received her Bachelors in Music Engineering and Technology from there. Whether you want to collab. with a dope trumpet player or simply get some inspiration from the indie world, she is a great one to check out, support, and follow.
Molly McLachlan, Head of International, 10K Projects - Molly McLachlan admits the slight increase in female executives is a fantastic initiative to promote equity but believes more must be done. She champions recognizing women's ideas, talents, voices, and better pay. McLachlan believes it is only when men in influential positions recognize women's efforts that women's empowerment can produce meaningful success in the industry.
Tips / Thought-starters
Recognition – Women regularly bring strong ideas, holistic views, and voices that should be recognized more to ensure equity and promote accountability across a broader spectrum to increase wins all around.
Men's role – Male leaders in the media, music, and overall entertainment industry can assist women in impacting the industry more by advocating for better work environments for their female counterparts.
Key Questions/Next Steps
Consult – Music industry leaders can consult women in the industry to discover their thoughts on how best to make them feel included.
Have breakfast with a rising woman you believe in or a potential mentor you admire, and learn how to help. Meet more inspired fellow women in music and media is to join our PRO community where we have recurring no cost networking LABs & collab sessions to build your team + boost your access, join here
Stay in touch with women you admire, they are human too and may have a 'work that matters' project that precisely needs your gifts or point of view to help make this world a better place
Do the work, amazing mentors are just that amazing, but no amount of favor or support can bridge the gap if you don't courageously step out and do the work that they are ready to support - there are no short cuts for grit, do the work
Invest – Industry leaders can invest in a talented female music producer, media marketing maven, or another talented team member to produce high-quality content.
Consider hiring interns from new or unusual sources, mix it up - build relationships with HBCU's, mentoring programs, creative arms of non-profits, creative arts high schools and more
Build a pipeline, share and lend time to undergraduate performing arts, marketing, media marketing and business clubs