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Mind the Gap Festival celebrates women’s voices

Aug 08, 2023 03:52PM ● By Peri Kinder

What better way to celebrate the power of women’s voices than a music festival featuring female musicians? Salt Lake’s inaugural Mind the Gap Fest will be held at The Gateway (18 Rio Grande St.) on Saturday, Aug. 26, with gates open at 11 a.m.

Presented by Salt Lake Community College, Women’s Leadership Institute, Utah Women & Leadership Project, Girls on the Run and more, the festival celebrates women who are pursuing careers in music and entertainment.

The festival features headliners like Beach Bunny, Yaeji, Sales, Orion Sun, Destroy Boys and Jadu Heart in a celebration of Women’s Equality Day. Mind the Gap will help attendees understand gender gaps in equality including income, executive positions, education and political representation. 

“We have a really educated workforce of women [in Utah] but they choose to stay home. They get their degree and then don’t do anything with it,” said WLI Director of Communication and Community Patti Cook. “They don't have the opportunity to have remote work. In Utah, 95% of the CEOs in Utah companies are male and so there’s a lot of bias around women and where their place is.”

However, once women step outside the traditional corporate structure, they demonstrate robust entrepreneurial success. With the corporate structure built to support male leadership, women find running their own companies gives them the freedom, opportunity and flexibility to grow as a leader and business owner. 

Although this is the first time Mind the Gap has been held in Utah, it’s a national franchise that’s been proven successful for many years. A portion of each ticket sold will benefit a scholarship fund for individuals interested in pursuing a degree in an entertainment related industry. 

Tickets can be purchased at Use the code WOMENLEAD20 for 20% off. 

In conjunction with Mind the Gap Fest, WLI will host an event Wednesday, Aug. 23 from 4-6 p.m. at Kiln (26 S. Rio Grande St. #2072). The event will be an open discussion, moderated by WLI CEO Pat Jones, to identify cultural norms and how they impact women in Utah. 

“When we talk to women, they think that they’re the only one having this problem and we want them to know that they’re seen and heard,” Cook said. “It’s not them who needs to be fixed. They’re in spaces that could be more friendly.”

Cook said enhancing women’s voices and giving them a place at the table lifts all aspects of society. Having a diverse selection of voices on boards, commissions, corporate and political leadership and education leads to more inclusive social and economic outcomes.

“We have to prepare women to be able to stand up and negotiate that salary that is on par with their male counterparts, and to not be afraid to do that, and to have the confidence to speak up in meetings,” Cook said. “Confidence is huge. Because so many women have worked in toxic environments, they think if they put their head down and work hard enough, they’ll be promoted, but that is not statistically true.” λ