Grammys President: Women Should ‘Step Up’ If They Want to Win More Awards

Neil Portnow, the president of The Recording Academy, responded to questions about the gender imbalance of awards at Sunday night’s Grammys by saying women are going to have to “step up” if they want more recognition. Despite the marked support for the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements on the red carpet, only one of the nine main honors presented during the event was won by a woman. “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls—who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level—to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” he told journalists backstage. Portnow acknowledged that he doesn’t have “personal experience with the kinds of brick walls that [women] face” but said the key to solving the disparity is to make “a welcome mat very obvious.” He continued, “Creating mentorships, creating opportunities, not only for women, but for all people. And moving forward, creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything and say anything.”