IMPALA has adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Charter setting out a series of twelve commitments for the organisation, which it will report on annually.
Guidance for members, training programmes, surveys to measure diversity and a range of other measures will be put in place, designed to promote inclusion and diversity across the European independent sector.
After working on various aspects of diversity over the years, IMPALA’s charter marks a more comprehensive and structured approach. The charter is based on European fundamental rights which cover gender, ethnicity, religion, belief, disability, age and sexual orientation, political beliefs as well as other protected characteristics.
IMPALA’s charter has been prepared by a diversity task force, with Keith Harris OBE appointed as adviser. The work started in June following a rescheduling of IMPALA’s board meeting to respect #BlackOutTuesday. Weekly task force meetings were chaired by Eva Karman Reinhold from SOM, the Swedish independents organisation and Paul Pacifico from AIM in the UK.
IMPALA’s task force aims to mainstream the charter’s principles throughout IMPALA‘s work, with all committees and the board appointing diversity advocates. Mapping and sharing of best practices across Europe will also be carried out, similar to the exercise undertaken by IMPALA’s Covid-19 task force.
Advice for members who are interested in tips for their own businesses is in the pipeline, as well as free bi-annual conscious inclusion training. Helping members access European funding for diversity projects is part of IMPALA’s commitments, together with other initiatives such as new awards at European and national level and an outreach programme.
IMPALA will invite its national association and company members to use the charter’s principles in their own work on a voluntary basis and adapt as they see fit.
As the roll out proceeds, IMPALA commits to using its voice in Brussels and will implement further projects to make change sustainable in the long term, with targets for five and ten years.
Francesca Trainini, chair of IMPALA and Italian association PMI said: “Devoting more time and resources to enhancing diversity will increase our members’ ability to run more inclusive, considerate and successful companies. That is the ultimate aim of IMPALA’s task force.”
Keith Harris OBE, adviser to IMPALA’s task force, commented “It’s been incredibly encouraging to witness the commitment to diversity and inclusion for the long term, that has been put into place by IMPALA. I am proud to have been included in their team to help drive their change agenda forward.”
Eva Karman Reinhold, co-chair of IMPALA’s task force, chair of Swedish association SOM continued: “Associations play an important role in shaping the climate of the music sector. IMPALA’s action plan for positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion is designed to also support its members in that same aim. I believe this will be particularly helpful for independent associations, working to strengthen big and smaller music companies across Europe. My experience with gender projects in Sweden has shown multiple benefits for the independent sector in making sure new and diverse businesses are heard.”
Paul Pacifico, co-chair of IMPALA‘s task force, CEO of UK association AIM, added: “IMPALA covers 30 European countries and counting, all of whom are very different. There is no “one size fits all” solution, as IMPALA’s charter recognises. What is needed in the UK will be different to other countries, but exchanging our experiences and building a bank of best practices will achieve diversity and inclusion far faster than us all working individually.”
Roger Dorresteijn, MD of Epitaph Europe, member of IMPALA’s task force added: “I see IMPALA’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter as a great step forward and a direct call to action for the independent music sector. Simply put, a music sector where everyone can feel heard, safe, valued and respected, creates better companies overall. We’re not committing ourselves to abstract phrases, but instead to practical day to day steps in order to do the work.”
Helen Smith, executive chair of IMPALA concluded: “Inspiring change is a vital part of IMPALA’s mission and this is what our charter seeks to achieve. Very much a European approach, we have focused on fundamental rights within a broad and pragmatic package which can be rolled out on a voluntary basis and adapted to each country. Keith Harris’ input has been invaluable and our ongoing collaboration will help us measure and adjust as we proceed, to ensure we achieve structural and lasting change.”