SOCAN on balance

Published 11/28/2017

By Jennifer Brown

Since I started as an employee with SOCAN more than 20 years ago, much about our staff and the way that we do business has changed for the better. Today, we’re nimbler, more agile and more productive. We’ve expanded and diversified our activities to respond to our members’ needs and work at the speed of business, leading the global transformation of music rights.

And we’ve also diversified our staff by steadily improving our hiring practices.

We still can do better – every company can always do better – but SOCAN today is even more inclusive, equality-based and reflective of our community and member-base than ever. Particularly in the last six years, our staff, management and executive teams are better balanced than the environment that I worked in when I started here in 1995.
A few facts about today’s SOCAN:

  • 57 per cent of our non-management employees are female.
  • Visible minorities comprise 38 per cent of all SOCAN employees.
  • 48 per cent of our management team are women.
  • Seven of our current 13 executives – 54 per cent – are female.
  • The Executive Directors of both the SOCAN-owned Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and SOCAN Foundation are female.
  • Approximately half of our music creator members joining in the last year, who are 25 or younger, are women.

We have pro-actively ensured that our hiring practices are fair and equal. Our human resources team works closely with SOCAN leaders to take an inclusive approach to attracting, securing and retaining the very best talent regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

As a result, our workforce reflects our local communities and, increasingly, our more than 150,000 member songwriters, composers and music publishers. Our membership base overall still tilts toward males, but we’re pleased that this trend is reversing. Using data from the last few years, nearly 50% of new, young members are women, and this reflects the changing Canadian music industry overall.

Women in music are stepping up to the business side of the industry. They are increasingly looking after their rights, whether it pertains to their music or their gender. SOCAN is working to encourage more female music creators to become members so that we can work with them to build their careers and make sure that they’re paid for the music that they’ve made, and own.

I’m proud to work with a SOCAN that strives for inclusivity, equality and equitability, but there’s still more to be done, particularly on the governance side. We hold elections for our board of directors every three years, and the next election cycle begins in January 2018. We will be actively encouraging women who meet the criteria to put their names forward for nomination. Our hope is that, by June 2018, our Board of Directors will reflect a better balance than today by gender and visible minority.

When I began my career with SOCAN, as a younger woman I was very much in the minority. Today, I’m working with an even more inclusive and fair company, one that will always ensure that our commitment to equality and equitability is at the heart of the organization.

Jennifer Brown is SOCAN’s Senior Vice President, Operations, overseeing SOCAN’s Distribution and Licensing departments, along with the Project Management Office. She’s accountable for the functions that support the organization’s overall strategic business objectives, and plays an integral part in SOCAN’s business development efforts. Jennifer has been with SOCAN for more than 20 years, holding progressive leadership positions within our Membership, Business Change, and Licensing departments. Jennifer’s accomplishments at SOCAN include successfully guiding the Licensing department to record-setting revenue results, cost-effective and strategic re-structuring, and the introduction of new and innovative customer-facing tools, all of which have resulted in improved revenue collection efforts.

To gain a sense of the SOCAN workplace atmosphere and environment, have a look at a recent a video that we use for recruitment, and be sure to check on currently available jobs at the organization.


About Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown heads up the Licensing department at SOCAN, which is responsible for collecting royalties from businesses that use music in broadcasts, streams, concerts and in their establishments. Jenn is an avid music fan and has a recurring New Year’s resolution to finally learn to play a musical instrument.

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