Spotify is partnering with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin on a major initiative which addresses the gender equality gap.

The market-leading streaming service has joined forces with the Swedish Music Publishers’ Association and Martin’s MXM Publishing on The Equalizer Project which, as its name suggests, will exist to promote tolerance and equal opportunities for all creators, regardless of gender.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek joined Martin onstage overnight for its first public seminar in Stockholm. “Looking at today’s top hits, only 18% were written by women, which I think says a lot,” Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek told guests, according to Variety. “In our case, we want to be a platform for everyone. Looking at the music industry, I think we might be a bit excluding as a group because when looking globally at top lists and the top songwriters, women are very underrepresented.”

The project’s brains trust were moved to make a difference when, after crunching the numbers, it became clear that women were woefully left out of the picture. Of the 226 songwriters contributing to Spotify’s top 50 tracks of 2016, only 13.7% were women, execs tell MusicAlly. It’s not a new phenomenon. Over the past 30 years, a dozen women have been nominated for producer of the year at the Swedish Grammys, winning on just four occasions, against 195 male nominees for 49 wins, the British-based music title reports.

“Women are still hugely underrepresented in the music industry,” Spotify Nordic MD Jenny Hermanson told Music Ally ahead of the event. “Sure, there are exceptions, but generally you won’t find many female producers, A&Rs, agents or artist managers. And that’s because in the past, women weren’t expected or encouraged to succeed in these positions.”

The exception in this case is Tracy Chapman. The American singer-songwriter’s ‘80s classic “Fast Car” is the one song written solely by a woman to crack the Top 50 Global Spotify Chart for 2016, albeit in the form of a cover recorded by Jonas Blue featuring Dakota.

The new initiative will be more than a talking shop. Going forward, several policies may be pursued, according to Hermanson, and its partners will initiate dialogue through networking events and a podcast.

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