After a turbulent week in the wake of the Grammy Awards ceremony, dogged by accusations of inequality between male and female artists, an independent task force has been set up to examine “the role of gender”.

It comes in the context of Recording Academy president Neil Portnow coming under fire for saying that women in music needed to “step up” when he was quizzed about the relative lack of recognition they received during Sunday’s awards, where female artists or female-fronted bands only received 17 out of the 86 awards and the list of performers included few women.

On Thursday (February 1st), Portnow went back on his statement and said they were a “poor choice of words” and that “gender bias” in the industry needs to be addressed. 

LordeLorde was one of the artists who spoke out about the lack of female representation at the 2018 Grammys

“We will place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed,” he said about the independent task force. The Recording Academy itself, which consists of 13,000 professionals working within the music industry, released another statement saying the move would “identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.”

More: Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and other top winners at the 2018 Grammys

Prior to this latest announcement, a group of female record executives had called for Portnow’s resignation. “We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time,” their letter said. “The fact that you don't realise this means it's time for you to step down.”

Lorde, who was the only female artist to be nominated for Album of the Year – and the only artist in that category not to be invited to perform on the night – took out an advert in the New Zealand Herald earlier this week to question the lack of representation.

Pink, who did perform on the night, had also written an open letter addressing Portnow’s words, saying: “Women have been stepping since the beginning of time.”

More: Bon Iver speaks his truth on this year’s highly criticised Grammy Awards ceremony