Grammys announce new initiative to improve ‘female advancement’

"We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed."

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow has announced the formation of a new task force to tackle gender bias in the music industry – only days after he was accused of sexism.

Portnow was forced to apologise earlier this week after claiming that women needed to “step up” in music, with his comments coming after a Grammys ceremony that saw Alessia Cara becoming the only woman to pick up a major award.

Now, Grammys boss Portnow has apologised once more for his divisive comments, and confirmed a new task force will “review every aspect” of the organisation.

“I also now realize that it’s about more than just my words. Because those words, while not reflective of my beliefs, echo the real experience of too many women. I’d like to help make that right,” he wrote.

“The Recording Academy is establishing an independent task force to review every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community. We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.”

Despite the apologies, Portnow still faces renewed calls to step down from female executives who described his comments as “spectacularly wrong”.

“The statement you made this week about women in music needing to ‘step up’ was spectacularly wrong and insulting and, at its core, oblivious to the vast body of work created by and with women,” a letter signed by leading female record executives reads.

“Today we are stepping up and stepping in to demand your resignation.”