Brussels, 21st October 2021,

Exactly one year after the release of its Diversity and inclusion charter, IMPALA, the European independent music companies’ association has released its first annual report on diversity and inclusion.

The goal of the report is to follow the work that’s been carried out and hold ourselves accountable, identifying areas which need to be improved and highlighting examples of successful projects and campaigns.

The report is only one of the points in IMPALA’s 12-point Diversity and inclusion charter, also including the commitment to provide guidance for members, training programmes, surveys to measure diversity and a range of other measures designed to promote inclusion and diversity across the European independent sector. 

Some of the highlights so far include two diversity and inclusion training sessions for members, delivered by Arit Eminue of DiVA Apprenticeships and Vick Bain from vbain consulting, including diversity and inclusion topics in our #20MinutesWith podcast series, releasing the first diversity and inclusion survey for independent music businesses during European diversity month, appointing diversity advocates in our committees, marking the year anniversary of Black Out Tuesday, supporting important campaigns, and more.

Here’s what the task force co-chairs had to say about the report: 

Eva Karman Reinhold, Chair of SOM, (Sweden), Co-chair of IMPALA’s diversity task force: “We thank Keith Harris for all his input as adviser to our task force. This helped us advance quickly and made sure we stayed practical. Organisations and businesses can be part of a positive change just by making diversity and representation aspects a natural part of decision making. National associations have an important role to play by taking a lead and supporting our members. We look to our diversity advocates to carry our principles far and wide, across all areas of the industry. Paul’s work on streaming reform is one of our key focal points on this and we look to digital services to work with us to boost diversity. We are also reviewing our overall messaging as this will dictate how effective we are in triggering change.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM (UK), Co-chair of IMPALA’s diversity task force: “Making sure our whole sector is handling equity and diversity issues in a meaningful way is key to our work. We issued specific guidance for businesses and associations, including ideas on boosting diversity in membership, as well as plenty of practical tips and made sure free training is available to any member interested. Eva also mobilised association network meetings to start exchanging best practices and ideas on how to foster change in a practical way. This is the way to have as broad an impact as possible. There is still a lot of work to do and we have a motivated task force to help us make progress.

With Keith Harris OBE, adviser to IMPALA’s task force concluding: “This first annual report outlining the measures that have been undertaken over the last 15 months or so shows that there is a serious wish to make sure that the measures taken are irreversible, and that IMPALA members across the board have bought into them. If I have one small area of concern, it is that many of the measures proposed, and implemented are mainly gender focused. This is a much easier conversation to have than one about disadvantages due to ethnicity, but I am confident that IMPALA will not shy away from those difficult conversations and solutions over the coming years.

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s Executive Chair commented: “As an organisation, IMPALA has defined itself through its work to promote cultural diversity and access to market for members irrespective of size, origin or type of music. Last year, we adopted a more structured approach on diversity and inclusion, and we know we have a long way to go to achieve systemic change in the sector. This report is part of a process of being transparent about progress. Our task force will take on board Keith’s recommendations over the next twelve months.”

Find IMPALA’s Diversity and inclusion charter in infographic form below and the full version here.

Find our report here.

IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents over 5000 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.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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