Addressing the Gender Imbalance in Theatre Sound, Clare Hibberd

  • 3.15pm

  • Alison House, Atrium
    Nicolson Square
    EH8 9DF


Led by Clare Hibberd (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Theatre Sound is a distinct subsection of the audio industry, which is known to be up to 95% male dominated. In the era of #MeToo, audio education has taken a positive move forwards to promote an interest in audio equality and the emergence of ‘Digital Audio Ecofeminism’ has led to a number of online communities that support women in the field.

One of these communities, Soundgirls, is an American charity whose aim is to inspire and empower the next generation of women in audio. Their mission is to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production providing the tools, knowledge and support to further their careers.

Specialist music and drama schools have for many years fostered a unique environment for students to experience vocational training alongside performance students. For the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland two degree pathways have emerged- Production Arts and Design and Production, Technology, Management. Sound students enrolled on this degree experience a series of production allocations, giving hands on experience within a supported learning environment.

Under Scottish Government policy, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland engages with the Scottish Funding Council Gender Action Plan. This plan states that no college or university will have a gender imbalance of greater than 75% of one gender.

The question now is, how do we as educators and practitioners push for change in gender equality?


Clare Hibberd is the Sound Lecturer on the BA Production Technology Management course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). She graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2004. In 2013 she completed at PCGE at Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent which led to teaching science at a large comprehensive school for 2 years.

Sound work includes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium and National Tour), Chichester Festival Theatre (Summer Season), Nicholas Nickleby (National Tour), Mamma Mia (International Tour), Love Never Dies (London), Shrek the Musical (London), Matilda the Musical (London) and more recently, Senior Sound Technician at the Royal Opera House Muscat.

Since moving to Glasgow, Clare has started a chapter of Soundgirls- a non-profit organisation that inspires and empowers the next generation of women in audio by creating a supportive community to help further their careers.