Ellie Goulding used her moment on stage at the BRIT Awards to hit out at Recording Academy President Neil Portnow after he told women to ''step up'' if they want to win awards.

The 31-year-old singer took to the stage at the music awards show in London on Wednesday (21.02.18) to present the award for International Female Solo Artist, and used her introduction speech to seemingly slam the Recording Academy President for comments he made after the Grammy Awards last month.

Neil Portnow was quoted as saying after the ceremony in January: ''It has to begin with ... women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level. [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.''

And at the BRIT Awards at London's O2 Arena, Ellie claimed women had been ''stepping up for years''.

Model Adwoa Aboah - who was presenting the award with Ellie - said: ''Wow, thank you so much for all coming, and thank you for wearing your roses in solidarity with all the women here.''

To which the 'Love Me Like You Do' hitmaker added: ''It's so amazing to see so many women tonight wearing the roses. We're very proud to be women, and actually I think we can all agree that we've been stepping up for years.''

It comes after 38-year-old singer Pink also slammed the Grammys boss, stating women ''don't need to step up''.

In a letter posted on Twitter, Pink said: WOMEN IN MUSIC don't need to 'step up'. Women have been stepping since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside. Women OWNED music this year. They've been KILLING IT. And every year before this.

''When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair. (sic)''