The Stunning Absence of Powerful Women Executives

Last week, we compiled a list of the most powerful people in the music industry, and everyone chimed in with an opinion.

There were great arguments for the inclusion of certain individuals, and plenty of debates (both healthy and unhealthy).

And, deep in the comments thread, an interesting discussion broke out.  Where were the women?  And, we asked ourselves: why weren’t any women even close to making this list?  In fact, one of the first suggestions among our readers was… Lady Gaga?

Certainly, there are a few names that pop out: Amanda Marks, Alexandra Patsavas, Sylvia Rhone.  But there’s something wrong with this picture, and the question is whether this is an industry-specific issue, a societal one, or both.  The music industry is hardly Mad Men, but the old-world, hooker-and-blow legacy hasn’t been the most inviting to women.

Then again, that legacy is increasingly becoming a memory, and anyone can jump onto the stage in 2010.  Anyone can create a disruptive application, anyone can pitch a great idea to Digital Music News, and every day, this industry becomes less structured and hierarchical.

So, what’s holding women back?