What is the Equality & Diversity Charter for Music, and who is part of it?
The Equality and Diversity Charter for Music is a plan to collectively improve equality and diversity in the commercial music industry.
The idea came from a group of executives in the music industry who came together in 2009 to form the Alliance for Diversity in Music and Media (ADMM).
UK Music are administrating the charter, most industry trade bodies and other key employers will form a steering group to oversee the charter.
Employers and freelancers from across the industry can sign up to the charter.
Support from individuals working in music or from other interested organisations is also welcome.
Why does the music industry need an Equality & Diversity Charter?
Diversity is an asset for music. There are currently many high-profile performers from a variety of backgrounds, but this has not always been the case. The personnel of the sector (particularly senior executives and board members) is less diverse.
Nevertheless, there is much good work already underway in the industry on equality and diversity, but its profile is low. The charter brings it together in one place, provide information and support to companies and share best practice.
Other creative industries (Television, Film, Book Publishing) have collective programmes to address equality and diversity. Music should do so too.
We know, for example, that there are barriers to entry for people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds entering the creative industries. For instance, a high supply of graduates into jobs for which a degree isn’t required, and unpaid internships may prevent opportunities being available to all.
The music industry can improve its reputation for being proactive on this issue.
The motivation and retention of staff is shown to be improved when the culture of acompany is strongly supportive of equality, with benefits to creativity and decision making in having a diverse workforce and board.
What happens when I sign up?
The Equality & Diversity Charter for Music pinpoints four areas where action is needed.
As a company or self-employed person, you simply pick at least two areas in which you would like to improve equality and diversity each year, and decide what actions you will commit to taking. If you are running a company, you may want to discuss this with your colleagues.
The actions you pledge to take should be relevant and realistic to your business, and include a specific and achievable timescale, set by you (ideally over the period of a year).
Once you have signed up, and decided on your actions, you will share them with the Equality and Diversity Charter for Music steering group, who will report generally on progress across the industry annually, and publicise examples of success.