Brussels, 31st May 2022,

IMPALA is releasing a report on the first diversity and inclusion survey of the independent sector, “Towards a more diverse and inclusion independent music sector” to close its programme for European Diversity Month. Designed by IMPALA’s equity, diversity and inclusion task force, with Keith Harris OBE as adviser and in consultation with national associations, the survey had two key aims. First, to map best practices, local developments and projects regarding diversity and inclusion. Second, to start building a basic picture of the sector’s diversity and key issues faced. It was directed to businesses and associations. You can read the full report here.

Snapshot of the sector
IMPALA’s task force set out to capture a cross section of the independent sector, via a sample of businesses and associations from different countries. Among those participating were businesses of all sizes and at varying stages as regards issues of diversity equity and inclusion. This was accompanied by a range of association responses, also with varying approaches.  The sample of participants covered 22 different countries. Due to rules about collecting data in some countries, IMPALA designed the survey so that respondents were asked to make their own assessment, rather than give specific information.  

What our members highlighted as key challenges
For businesses who participated, the issues raised as the most challenging as regards diversity and inclusion are race and ethnicity, followed by gender and socio-economic factors. Associations put gender as the first issue to tackle, followed by race and ethnicity and age. Through these surveys we also observed that some of our members already have policies in place and are making changes. Others are not, mostly due to their small size or lack of finances, or because they see themselves as already diverse, or they don’t agree there is an issue, or they do agree but don’t know where to start. Nearly two thirds of associations have diversity and inclusion policies in place or planned to with the next year.

Need for resources to address diversity and inclusion issues
Funding and other support for projects in the sector has come out as a key need. IMPALA intends to ask the EC to develop more EU diversity related funding opportunities to allow the sector to activate change, while still being able to continue their daily work. IMPALA will also spread awareness on EU funding and make sure members know what is available.  The report also asks national associations to check if there are national funds and share the news, as well as push for more support. The sharing of best practices was also highlighted as a priority.

Mapping the sector
As regards mapping the diversity of the sector in terms of workforce, IMPALA proposes that the EC and Eurostat work with the music sector and the broader cultural field.  A system is needed to map diversity in a concrete and comprehensive way, that also respects national rules about gathering data on these issues.

Keith Harris OBE, adviser to IMPALA’s equity, diversity and inclusion task force commented: “This is a learning process for the sector, and it’s encouraging to see the independents pushing on with their commitments. The most important thing is always to get started. One question we could add in the future would be if respondents feel that is there a business benefit in having a diverse workforce, or if they feel it is just the right thing to do. I encourage IMPALA to continue working on this and this report provides IMPALA with useful information to move forward.”

Eva Karman Reinhold, SOM’s CEO and IMPALA’s equity, diversity and inclusion task force’s co-chair added: “We thank all respondents who took the time to participate during the pandemic and when the whole sector was suffering from survey fatigue. We still have a lot of work to do for sure, but it is encouraging to see that change is happening as well. We hope this report will prompt more businesses to use the IMPALA resources available and also seek more help at national level in addressing these issues.”

Paul Pacifico, AIM’s CEO and IMPALA’s equity, diversity and inclusion task force’s co-chair continued: Finding out where members sit on diversity and inclusion issues generally is key to the task force. We asked about whether they have diversity and inclusion policies. We also wanted information on the measures they apply as employers to be more inclusive, and of course the challenges they face. We also asked how they rate themselves in terms of their own diversity. The results will serve as a good baseline to measure progress in the future as we do the work to foster a more diverse and inclusive music sector.”

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s executive chair concluded: “Surveying members was the first commitment IMPALA set in our diversity and inclusion charter. The need for EU and national support for change is very clear and we will raise this finding with the EU institutions. We will also flag the need for the EU to help gather workforce data as we look at ways of mapping the EU cultural sectors further.”

IMPALA’s European Diversity Month schedule
Below is IMPALA’s programme for European Diversity Month, along with some other milestones for IMPALA equality, diversity and inclusion task force:

European Diversity Month is organised by the European Commission and the EU Platform of Diversity Charters together with its members. European Diversity Month is an important initiative to support the European Commission’s commitment to fight discrimination and promote diverse and inclusive workplaces.  
Use the hashtag #EUDiversityMonth to promote your own diversity activities. 
More info here: 

IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents nearly 6000 independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the independents, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change, and increase access to finance. 
Check our available resources on diversity and inclusion here.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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