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UK Music hires new diversity taskforce chairman

UK Music has announced Ammo Talwar, founder of touring and artist management firm Punch, as the new chair of its equality and diversity taskforce.

Talwar replaces Keith Harris, who has chaired the body for the last three years. The co-chair of the taskforce remains Paulette Long.

Established in 2015, the quality and diversity taskforce works with the music business, the British government and other stakeholders to boost inclusion and diversity across the industry. It includes representatives from the UK live music industry, as well as major and indie record labels, music publishers, trade organisations and collection societies.

In 2016, UK Music undertook the first industry wide workforce diversity survey, focusing on gender and ethnicity. The latest survey was published in 2018.

“I feel hugely privileged to chair this taskforce”

“I feel hugely privileged to chair this taskforce,” says Talwar. “UK Music has made real inroads around diversity and inclusion. We are global leaders in music-making and I’m confident that the UK’s music sector will continue to move at pace, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of community, music and genres.”

Outgoing chair Keith Harris adds: “Having headed the UK Music equality and diversity taskforce for three years, during which time we have seen the industry inching towards a more balanced and diverse workforce, I am delighted to be handing over to Ammo Talwar.

“His energy and enthusiasm will help to make sure that the momentum is not lost and his perspective from outside the London environment will drive the new initiatives needed make sure that we have an industry which fairly represents the whole music community.”

In a further change, UK Music’s Rachel Bolland will succeed Felicity Oliver as the umbrella organisation’s head of diversity.

 


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UK Music welcomes new Diversity Charter

UK Music, the British umbrella organisation which includes the UK Live Music Group, has welcomed a new charter to improve diversity across the creative industries.

Those involved in the creative industries were encouraged to adopt the charter – agreed by the Creative Industries Council (CIC), a joint forum between the government and representatives of music, TV, film, gaming, fashion and the arts – when it was unveiled yesterday by culture secretary Jeremy Wright.

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher comments: “As a member of the Creative Industries Council, I was delighted to sign this important new Diversity Charter on behalf of UK Music and our members.

“UK Music has a long-standing commitment to championing diversity and making our music industry as inclusive as possible. Our Diversity Taskforce, the chair of which sits on the UK Music board, have campaigned hard for years to practical changes and our flagship Diversity Report surveys our entire industry, showing the progress that’s been made but where we still have a great deal more work to do.”

“The charter is a welcome step in helping give people from every background the best chance of forging a career in the UK music business”

He continues: “The Creative Industries Council and the government are to be congratulated on this latest important initiative. The charter is a welcome step in helping give people from every background the best chance of forging a career in the UK music business, which contributes £4.5 billion a year to the economy. Making sure our industry is as diverse as possible is not just the right thing to do – it’s also essential if we are to support our talent pipeline.”

Writing in IQ earlier this year, consultant Claire Singers said senior industry figures, in their annual appraisals, should be challenged on how they are contributing to greater ethnic and gender diversity in the UK music industry.

“They should be asked: what have you done this year to progress the careers of BAME [black, Asian and minority-ethnic] staff, women, LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people] and people with disabilities? Are we recruiting the best person for the team? Who are you mentoring?”

Read the UK Diversity Charter in full here.

 


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