AIM publishes first ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Audit01 June 2021 - Press release
On the anniversary of Blackout Tuesday, The Association of Independent Music (AIM), which represents the UK’s independent music sector, has published its first ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Audit and committed to follow it up every year to measure its progress in creating real and positive change.
Levelling the playing field is a key part of AIM’s core mission. Over the past year it has worked with socially engaged organisation on targeted EDI commitments, and launched new initiatives for the independent community and wider industry.
Last week AIM launched launched ‘EDI Level-Up', a 12-month Equity, Diversity & Inclusion training programme, free for its members. This carefully curated programme breaks down barriers for independent music businesses and helps them foster conscious inclusion. The programme aims to accelerate positive change in the music industry through education and knowledge, particularly for independent SMEs who may not have access to specialist advice.
This month AIM will also be launching a ground breaking free Associate Membership tier which will deliver access to knowledge, networks and platforms to every artist and other entrepreneur releasing music through AIM’s independent Distributor Members. Associate Membership will level the playing field and provide businesses with the tools to grow. AIM intends to support over 100,000 independent rightsholders through Associate Membership over the next 12 months.
In April, AIM issued an open letter to the Prime Minister in response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ report on race which was commissioned by the UK government. AIM's letter called on the Prime Minister to address the structural problems existing in our society which the commission’s report failed to acknowledge. It was signed by nearly 700 artists and professionals from the independent music sector and beyond, including music industry and diversity leaders Keith Harris OBE, Nadia Khan (AIM Chair and Founder of Womxn in CTRL), Ammo Talwar MBE (Chair of the UK Music Diversity Taskforce) and Charisse Beaumont (Black Lives In Music) as well as artists such as Roots Manuva and Ms Banks.
In a landmark moment, at AIM’s 2020 AGM, its members elected a female-majority board for the first time. AIM also welcomed Nadia Khan of Women in CTRL as its Chair and exceeded its diversity target for the AIM Board, which is benchmarked against London’s population. This is believed to be a music industry first and is especially noteworthy as it was achieved through member voting rather than Directors being co-opted. AIM has reconfirmed its commitment to maintaining these levels of representation within the AIM Board.
As a member of UK Music, AIM helped draft, and has committed to deliver on, the organisation’s Ten-Point Plan - a list of actions to help increase diversity and boost inclusion in the UK music industry.
In this first year, AIM has successfully delivered its initial response to all of the Ten-Point Plan’s targets and is planning follow up actions for the year ahead under the guidance of EDI experts and music industry leaders.
AIM has committed to continue to deliver on the UK Music Ten-Point Plan, IMPALA’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter, and goals set by The Black Music Coalition and Keychange, among others.
To ensure continued action, AIM is committing to publish a yearly audit of its work in equity, diversity and inclusion – measuring progress made in the year gone by and setting out new goals for further impactful action in the years ahead. The AIM EDI Audit 2021 can be read here.
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM, said: “AIM must work towards embodied solidarity with the people and causes we feel are under-represented in our industry and society. We have done some good work to date, but there is much more to achieve. We are fully committed and energised to build on the foundations now in place to help be a positive agent of change for a better, fairer and more inclusive music sector.”