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Ivors Academy’s LGBTQI+ Working Group Chair On Why LGBTQI+ Representation Matters In The Music Industry

Creator and Chair of The Ivors Academy's LGBTQI+ Working Group Will Davenport discusses how he hopes research into LGBTQI+ representation in the music industry will help create a brighter future. 

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01.02.2022: As LGBTQ+ History Month kicks off, creator and Chair of The Ivors Academy’s LGBTQI+ Working Group Will Davenport discusses how he hopes research into LGBTQI+ representation in the music industry will help create a brighter future. 

Happy LGBTQI+ History Month – a time to remember and recognise how far we have come in the journey for equality, inclusion and safety for LGBT+ people.

The most integral part of this journey is representation. Representation provides reassurance for LGBT+ individuals that they can be open and proud of their sexuality – both creatively and professionally.

It works on a strong conviction that nobody should feel ostracised from an industry or space, and this strive for representation has been at the heart of my work with The Ivors Academy.

As the chair of The Ivors Academy’s LGBT+ Working Group, I have been fortunate enough to meet a broad spectrum of queer artists and creators. I have been humbled to hear artists speak so transparently about their experiences and their hopes and concerns for the industry. Listening to these experiences has revealed to me that there is still work to be done, and initiating the Music+ research is part of this work.

The research builds on the experiences of members of the Working Group and is seeking to establish the representation of experiences of LGBTQI+ individuals working at senior or decision-making levels across the breadth of industry organisations.

From the 2020 UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey we know that 13% of respondents identified as LGBT+, and we are interested to see if this percentage is reflected on industry boards and leadership teams.

We are also determined to ensure that this research and any subsequent recommendations are respectful of and sensitive to trans, non-binary, and intersex identities.

We would like this research to create a welcome and safe space for respondents to share experiences of allyship and discrimination.

We have no interest in pointing fingers at organisations or boards, but rather want to understand the extent of LGBTQI+ representation at senior levels, associated experience and potential implications for the industry as a whole.

We have been proudly working on this with Pride In Music, UK Music, and a cross-industry steering board. The research is still at an early stage and The Ivor’s Academy’s Campaign and Research Consultant Jenny Goodwin is busy liaising with the steering board, the creator-led working group and external agencies as we develop the questionnaire through which we aim to securely capture a nuance of LGBTQI+ experiences.

If you would like to be a part of this research, or would like to be a part of the Academy’s LGBTQI+ Working Group, then email willdavenport.music@gmail.com.

  • Chair of the Ivors Academy’s LGBTQI+ Working Group, Will Davenport (he/him). Find out more about him at  www.willdavenportmusic.co.uk, and Instagram and Facebook @willdavenportmusic.
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