European indie body Impala has published its latest report this morning, based on its first diversity and inclusion survey of its members. It’s a snapshot of the progress being made by independent music companies, but also the challenges that are hampering their efforts for some of them.

Among the findings: 38% of companies and 46% of industry associations have a diversity policy in place already, while nearly a fifth and a third respectively are planning to introduce new initiatives in the next year.

What about the companies who don’t and aren’t? According to Impala, 36.4% “don’t believe they have issues to solve”; the same percentage don’t see it as a priority; and 18.2% feel their goals are already achieved. Meanwhile, another 18.2% don’t know where to start, and 9% feel they don’t have the time or resources to do so.

On the ‘don’t know where to start’ aspect, Impala’s report has a helpful list of some of the most popular measures being used by independent music companies around diversity and inclusion.

Flexible and/or home working tops the list – 69% have put that in place, although clearly this is also a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with diverse artists (60%); supporting diversity-related initiatives in the music sector (32%); promoting equality and diversity in job ads (27%); speaking out on related issues (20%); and making reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities or health conditions (18%) also come high.

Lots of work being done, and plenty of potential for more work still, then. Impala notes in the report that “it is likely that those who are most active on these issues will have completed the survey, so the results won’t necessarily be reflective of the whole sector”.

Still, more data and more ideas are always welcome, and Impala plans to continue surveying, offering training and lobbying the European authorities for more funding and support for independent companies addressing the challenge.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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