ivors academy senate

British songwriters body The Ivors Academy is getting into the accelerator game, but not for startups. Its new Advocacy Accelerator wants to increase the diversity of music industry boards.

VV Brown, Eve Horne, Oliver Vibrans and Freddie Kofi are the first musicians and industry people to join the accelerator, which will offer two years of mentoring, shadowing and training, including stints as a board director at the Ivors Academy itself. The accelerator will sit alongside the organisation’s new TheWRD diploma and other initiatives aimed at increasing diversity at higher levels of the music industry and its bodies.

As it announced the plans, the Ivors Academy also revealed that its board is now more than 70% female – “up from less than 25% only four years ago” – while its Senate decision-making arm is 40% Black, Asian or ethnically diverse, while 13% of its senators have a disability.

“To create a positive and equitable music industry that addresses historic injustices and power imbalances, we need a greater range of views and voices in boardrooms,” said Ayanna Witter-Johnson, who’ll co-lead the new accelerator alongside fellow musician Orphy Robinson MBE.

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