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Audio Network Global Head of Music Operations Gemma Guy discusses her experiences as a female exec, her career highlights, and the importance of embracing your true self at work

Tell us about your journey to becoming Global Head of Music Operations at Audio Network. What are the key responsibilities and challenges of your role?

Gemma Guy

Gemma Guy

I joined Audio Network as a Music Assistant 10 years ago and gained experience across all areas of our music-making in the early years, providing administrative support to the composers and the team. While the company and the industry has changed over the past decade, our ethos remains the same: to produce music of the highest quality, working with the best composers and artists across every genre. My early experiences and the progression of my role have given me an intrinsic understanding of the strategic and operational processes needed to achieve this.

One of the key responsibilities of my current role is to oversee Audio Network’s catalogue strategy, which means ensuring we are making the right music to give our clients exactly what they need. It’s an ever-changing landscape so it’s crucial for us to continually adapt to meet the needs of our customers. I also manage our production budget and project management systems, and have oversight of our global composer roster.

The biggest challenge is juggling those key areas while ensuring my team and our composers have all the support they need. We continue to prioritise strong relationships with our roster. It’s one of my favourite things about Audio Network – it feels like a family. Everything we do is to ensure our music delivers long-term value for Audio Network and our composers.

How do you see the role of female music executives evolving, and what is your experience as a female leader in the music industry?

There are an increasing number of inspiring female music execs who have paved the way to senior leadership in the industry, which is amazing to see.

One of the things I am most passionate about is that women feel free to lead in their own way while still being recognised as strong and effective leaders – the more role models we have doing exactly that, the better. My experience over the years has taught me that it’s okay to embrace my authentic self – it’s possible (and only natural) to be both confident and insecure, assertive and empathetic, opinionated and collaborative.

While representation has improved over the past 10 years, there is still work to be done across all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, as we continue to see disappointing reports detailing the harassment and discrimination faced by women in the music industry, compounded for those facing intersectional inequality.

What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career in music operations or the music industry in general?

There’s so much! When transitioning to leadership, be careful not to brand yourself as the one who can get everything done. Leadership is about collaboration, delegation, strategic thinking and galvanising teams – you can’t do all of that if you’re bogged down in other things.

Acknowledge your imposter syndrome and it loses its power. When I started working more directly with senior stakeholders both inside and outside Audio Network, the imposter syndrome was real.

But then I had a realisation (like you have when you realise your parents are real people too) that everyone feels that way at first, and just because I felt like an imposter, it didn’t mean I actually was one. Own your opinions and speak up – everyone sounds like they know what they’re talking about, but really they’ve just had more practice.

What are some of the highlights from your time at Audio Network?

It is always a pleasure to see the music being recorded; we work with the best musicians at the best studios in the world and it never gets old hearing the music come to life in that way. I am also proud of the work we have done to diversify our composer roster, and I am focused on ensuring that continues with more representation as we grow the catalogue.

My final highlight would be the people – Audio Network is filled with experts who are passionate about the work we do, which makes it an innovative, collaborative and exciting place to be.