First anniversary of PPL’s Diversity Forum highlights year of increased EDI focus
It will be a year on 7 July since PPL’s internal Diversity Forum held its first meeting, marking a busy 12 months of activity on issues of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
The Forum was created in response to feedback internally following Blackout Tuesday and as part of PPL’s response to the Black Music Coalition last June setting out five calls to action for the UK music industry. These included a call for companies to establish a dedicated internal taskforce focused on EDI.
The Forum meets once a month with a remit to suggest ideas and ensure that processes and opportunities within PPL are transparent and can be challenged where the Forum believes that improvements can be made. It comprises 28 members of staff from across the business along with Paulette Long OBE, who serves as an external advocate.
During its first year the Forum’s achievements have included work to develop a Diversity Hub for employees to share EDI resources and information. Under its watch, a support group was launched for Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees, and a scheme was introduced whereby £20 is made available to staff each year to spend on EDI educational materials such as books, DVDs and tickets to seminars.
As part of marking the anniversary, a digital leaflet titled Doing More and Doing Better has been created for staff to highlight what PPL has instigated and achieved over the past year to drive forward its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion agenda. This includes:
- Supporting industry initiatives, such as UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan to put the music business “front and centre” of the drive to tackle racism and boost diversity in Britain.
- Acting upon the Black Music Coalition’s five calls to action to tackle discrimination in the UK music industry, including launching the Diversity Forum.
- Creating a new role to plan and execute the company’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
- Reviewing polices such as Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion, Bullying and Harassment, and Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
- Launching a monthly newsletter to highlight the work of PPL and the Diversity Forum on EDI matters.
- Developing a Terminology Guide that provides employees definitions and examples of inclusive and non-inclusive language.
An important focus has been in the area of recruitment, which has included trialling anonymised CVs, diversifying interview panels, reviewing and amending the language used in job descriptions and looking at alternative selection methods for shortlisting candidates for interview as well as how we select the successful candidate for the role.
During the past year, PPL has supported Black organisations, educational projects and charities, including the Black charity Small Green Shoots and The Cat’s Mother, a network of established women in the music and creative industries offering voluntary consultancy to young women from low income backgrounds. It has also focused on recruitment, training, mentoring and volunteering, which has included placing interns from DeMonfort University and the disability charity Leonard Cheshire in various company departments.
We have looked to address bias and harassment by reviewing our unconscious bias and anti-racism training for all staff, as well as trialling an app to enable staff to informally and anonymously report micro-aggressions. PPL has also committed to take part in the Social Mobility Employer Index, a benchmarking initiative to assess and monitor an organisation’s progress on social mobility, while a focus on mental health and wellbeing has included training 16 employees to be mental health first aiders.