Books to celebrate Gender Equality Month

Discover some of the best music books celebrating diversity, inclusion and equality. 


Our Learning Resources Centre (LRC) has put together some recommended reads on gender equality and music to mark Gender Equality Month. 

Please visit our LRC to borrow the title/s of your choice and check out this selection for a wider choice of relevant titles available. 

'Invisible Women : Exposing Data Bias In A World Designed For Men' | Caroline Criado Perez | 2020


From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, and the media, 'Invisible Women' reveals how in a world built for and by men we are systematically ignoring half of the population, often with negative consequences. 

According to the book, as a woman, your phone is often too big for your hand and in a car accident, you are 47 percent more likely to be injured. 

Caroline Criado Perez brings together an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all. 

'Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry (2nd ed)' | Kristin Lieb | 2018 


'Gender, Branding, and The Modern Music Industry' uses interview and theoretical frameworks within sociology and marketing to analyse how today's music industry treats women. 

Kristin Lieb explores how female artists are packaged to audiences, the focus on the physicality of today's female pop star and how the music industry often prioritises 'attractiveness' over musical talent. The book unpicks what these representations and perspectives means for the music industry, music lovers and the rest of society. 

'You're History : The Twelve Strangest Women In Music' | Lesley Chow (2021)


Lesley Chow's book delves into the stories of twelve pioneering female artists who have overhauled how pop music is made and sounds. 

From Kate Bush to Nicki Minaj, from Janet Jackson to TLC and Taylor Swift, pop's greatest female pioneers are an eclectic, dynamic and creative group. This book charts their music and artistry to outline what makes them so special and unique. 

'The Routledge Handbook On Women's Work In Music' | Rhiannon Mathias (2021) 


This publication collects a wide range of research from a global group of academics and music industry practitioners to showcase women's contribution to music, music education and music business. 

Over six sections, the book looks to answer different questions about performance and the reception of music from female artists, forgotten female composers and music creation. 

'The Motherlode : 100+ women who made hip-hop' | Clover Hope (2021) 


'The Motherlode' highlights more than 100 women who have shaped the world of rap music from the likes of Missy Elliott and Roxanne Shante to those residing at the top of the scene - so Lizzo and Cardi B. 

In this book, readers will find profiles of each of these pioneers, an overview of their musical highlights and how their career has had a defining influence on hip hop music. 

'Conversations With Women In Music Production : The Interviews' | Kallie Marie (2015)


As an acclaimed music producer and recording engineer, Kallie Marie has witnessed first-hand the challenges and opportunities that women face in the studio. 

In this book, she speaks with many of the most renowned women in audio and production to look at how they have built careers, looking at a range of topics including diversity, the gender pay gap and healthcare. 

'The Gender Games : The Problem With Men And Women, From Someone Who Has Been Both' | Juno Dawson (2018) 


Juno examines the way today’s society discusses and treats the concept of gender.

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, this memoir is also underpinned by Juno's own experiences of transitioning.  

'Men, Masculinity, Music and Emotions' | Sam de Boise (2015) 


Sam de Boise analyses the stereotypes surrounding emotions and traditional perspectives of masculinity. Through detailing how judgments about emotions are expressed in relation to music tastes and distastes, this book demonstrates that emotions are as much social, value judgments as embodied responses.

Music listening contexts, culture, personal experience and a history of emotions are all important influences on our emotional responses. 

'Nontoxic: Masculinity, Allyship, and Feminist Philosophy' | Ben Almassi (2022)


This open access book argues for allyship masculinity as an open-ended, intersectional model for feminist men. It provides a roadmap for navigating between toxic masculinity on one side, and feminist androgyny on the other. Though Ben Almassi challenges the visions that Mary Wollstonecraft, bell hooks, and others have offered, he shares their belief that masculinity can be grounded in feminist values and practices. 

'Queer And Transgender Resilience Workbook : Skills For Navigating Sexual Orientation And Gender Expression' | Anneliese A Singh (2018) 


This workbook offers readers access to years of research accessible to queer and transgender adults. It asks readers to challenge internalised negative messages, handle stress, embrace who they are, remove obstacles from their life, and ultimately build a life that matters in a world still filled with micro-aggressions and discrimination. 

'#MeToo and the Politics of Social Change' | Bianca Fileborn + Rachel Loney-Howes (2019) 


This edited collection of contributions uses the #MeToo movement as a starting point for interrogating contemporary debates in anti-sexual violence activism and justice-seeking. Over 19 chapters, written by academics and activists from across the world, it provides a series of perspectives on the initiative. 

Contributors are internationally recognised and emerging academics from across the fields of criminology, media and communications, film studies, gender and queer studies, and law. 

'Being A True Ally : How To Strive Toward Allyship With Trans And Nonbinary Folks And Create Inclusive Communities' | Christy Whittlese (2021)


This guide contains practical advice, suggestions, and resources for those seeking to gain a better understanding of gender identity and become a better ally to the trans community. 

With case studies, FAQs, terminology and more, it will help readers understand identities and experiences, navigate respectful conversations and gain the confidence to create inclusive spaces and relationships. 

'Black Diamond Queens : African American Women And Rock And Roll' | Maureen Mahon (2020) 


The important influence, creativity and music of African American women in rock and roll is often overlooked in narratives dominated by white male writers and enterprises. 

Maureen Mahon's book looks to kick back against this by documenting the history, the music and contribution of African American female artists between the 1950s and 1980s. Those championed include Big Mama Thornton, LaVern Baker, Betty Davis, Tina Turner, Merry Clayton, Labelle, the Shirelles and many more. 

'More Than A Glitch : Confronting Race, Gender, And Ability Bias In Tech' | Meredith Broussard (2023)


In the vein of heavy hitters such as Safiya Umoja Noble, Cathy O’Neil, and Ruha Benjamin, Meredith Broussard demonstrates in 'More Than a Glitch' how neutrality in tech is a myth and why algorithms need to be held accountable.

Broussard, a data scientist and one of the few Black female researchers in artificial intelligence, synthesizes concepts from computer science and sociology. With sweeping implications for fields ranging from jurisprudence to medicine, the book's insights are essential reading for anyone invested in building a more equitable future. 

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

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To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
March 18, 2024
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