Step Up is a non-profit focused on empowering girls in under-resourced communities through their educational journeys and into their professional careers.
"It is such a blessing to be living in a moment of our industry's history that is so focused on uplifting the woman's voice in the heartbeat of music… [SITM programs] shine light on the insurmountable talent that women embody, especially when they are uplifted and nurtured by one another," said Jauregui.
She added, “I know I and so many of us in this room are grateful to witness the rise of the woman's voice in music; An era of bringing our own stories and perspectives to life with one another.”
Mentorship is SITM's third key program with the goal of educating, mentoring and developing the next generation of women in music. Its other programs so far are all-female songwriting camps and leading on a global database of women creators in music.
In this new partnership, SITM and Step Up will help introduce high school girls to the many different careers that exist behind-the-scenes in music and making sure they have the skills and access needed to take their first steps towards joining the industry. The program will initially focus on Los Angeles and New York with field trips to different music workplaces, summer internships and study under the Step Up curriculum that covers voice, expression and identity.
SITM was launched last December by Alicia Keys; her sound engineer, Jungle City Studios' Ann Mincieli; Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO Jody Gerson; and WME partner and head of East Coast Music department Samantha Kirby Yoh. The quartet were moved to action by a music industry report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in January 2018, which highlighted enormous inequalities for women in the business. The study reported that only 22.4 percent of performers of the 600 most popular songs from 2012-2017 were women, among other findings.
The Annenberg Initiative, Billboard Media Group and Universal Music Group have since committed resources and support to the organization, which focuses on three initial pillars: all-female songwriting camps, an industry database of women creators and a mentorship program. SITM has also added Executive and Creator committees including the likes of Ariana Grande, Missy Elliott and Billie Eilish.