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Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino commits $10m to boost diversity, aiming to bring the company's overall workforce to parity across race and gender
By IQ on 15 Jul 2020
Live Nation has committed to spending $10 million over the next two years to increase the diversity of its workforce, with plans to have 30% of its directors representing underserved groups by 2025.
In an open letter, which was sent to employees around the world last week, Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino wrote that the company must “address inequality and injustice at every level”, committing to increasing representation at director and leadership level; putting diversity centre stage at its events; increasing spend with Black and minority-owned vendors; amplifying social justice causes; and holding itself accountable.
The company is investing $10m in launching new programmes to develop, promote and hire people from underrepresented groups, aiming to bring its overall employee population to parity across race and gender in every country.
Rapino also pledges to increase diversity “at the very top”, with plans to nominate more women and Black, indigenous and other candidates of colour for the board of directors so that at least 30% of its directors are “diverse” by 2025.
For leadership level (director and above), Live Nation is setting country-specific representation goals “in order to acknowledge local dynamics and best serve each region”. In the United States, the company plans to double its Black leadership representation in the next five years, as well as increasing the overall diversity of leadership to 30% .
The company is also aiming to increase the diversity of the vendors and suppliers it works with, actively looking to support minority-owned businesses “wherever possible”.
“We spend over $2 billion each year on staging and sourcing for shows, with a supply chain that spans the globe,” writes Rapino. “We can use this spending power to drive economic empowerment and help grow small and disadvantaged businesses.”
“Our ultimate goal is to be as representative as the communities and artists we serve”
On stage, Live Nation commits to developing and investing in more music ventures, as well as festivals, tours and programmes, that “empower Black, Latin, female and other underserved groups as they continue to shape the future of music and culture.”
Once the live business is back up and running, line-ups at Live Nation festivals can also be expected to include more artists from underrepresented races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders.
To ensure it meets its diversity goals, Live Nation is implementing anti-bias education training; tracking its diversity data globallying facilitating ongoing pay equity analysis; tying its goals to leadership compensation; and establishing an Equity Accountability Board with input from leaders from across the business.
“With ongoing accountability, we believe we can become a more actively anti-racist organisation,” states Rapino.
“Our ultimate goal is to be as representative as the communities and artists we serve. The core of our business is promoting, and we are committed to improving our promotion of diversity within our company and the world at large.
“I am confident that this will make us an even stronger team.”
Rapino concludes by urging employees to “please continue to make your voices heard.”
Last month, a group of US industry executives formed advocacy group the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), addressing the heads of companies including Live Nation to “put a plan for change in place” to tackle systemic racism in the music business, following similar calls from Black music executives in the UK.
The letter is available to read in full here.
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