UK Music launch equality and diversity charter

·        Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music: ‘Promoting diversity is good for our business’

·        The UK music industry aims for 100 signatories by the end of 2012

In an event at London’s Commonwealth Club, the UK music industry will today (February 8th) launch a commitment to increase equality and diversity within the commercial music sector.

Hosted at www.ukmusic.org/edc, UK Music’s Equality & Diversity charter will encourage organisations, businesses and individuals to commit to two or more actions in 2012 to help improve equality and diversity in the industry.

These can be drawn from the following headings:

·        Recruiting from a wide talent pool

·        Improving equality and diversity at senior decision making levels

·        Participating in or running activities that promote equality and diversity in the music industry.

·        Sharing methods of increasing equality and diversity

The founding members of UK Music have agreed to champion the initiative. Over the course of 2012, UK Music aims to secure 100 signatories and commitments to action.

Jo Dipple, chief executive UK Music said: “Diversity is a massive asset for the UK music industry. Our creative talent and the audience who enjoy our music is, without doubt, diversity personified. Promoting that key strength to the companies and organisations in between can only be good for our business.

“I also hope this charter will shine a light on some of the excellent initiatives already underway in the industry and inspire debate and discussion – whether that’s PRS For Music and the PRS For Music Foundation proactively funding works by female composers, KOKO improving disabled access to their venue and increasing their customer base in the process, Live Nation’s apprenticeship programme, AIM’s Women In Music events, or the MU’s backing of Arthritis Care and Love Music, Hate Racism.”

The development of an industry-wide diversity code of practice was one of the recommendations made in Liberating Creativity, the first pan-industry music manifesto.

UK Music has worked with the Alliance for Diversity in Music & Media (ADDM) on this initiative.

Keith Harris, Director of Performer Affairs at PPL and spokesperson for the ADMM said: “Due to a lack of reliable data, it is actually difficult to calculate how well the music industry currently scores in terms of equality and diversity. From personal experience, things have improved somewhat, but there is more we can do to enable access to our business to those from different social and cultural backgrounds. The Equality and Diversity charter marks a good start in helping this industry realise its potential.”

Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE, Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister on Community Cohesion, who will be speaking at the charter’s launch, added: “I welcome the move by the music industry to show leadership on improving equality and diversity, which chimes with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Business Compact for Social Mobility. I very much hope it leads to wider participation that reflects modern society, and look forward to seeing what is achieved by this initiative.”

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