'More diversity makes us stronger': PPL's Kate Reilly speaks out on music biz recruitment

'More diversity makes us stronger': PPL's Kate Reilly speaks out on music biz recruitment

According to Kate Reilly, director of people and organisational development at PPL, the music industry can look forward to a future in which it shakes its associations with a lack of diversity.

In the new issue of Music Week, out now, we examine the recruitment sector in a special report in which we hear from leading executives from BIMM, PPL, Handle Recruitment, BIY People & Talent, CC Young & Co and The Music Market.

Issues around diversity are at the top of the sector’s agenda, with all parties united in aiming to build on UK Music’s latest report into the matter, which came out at the end of last year. Also in 2018, PPL won the Company Award For Diversity In The Workplace at the Music Week Women In Music Awards.

Back then, CEO Peter Leathem told Music Week: "We strongly believe that having a more diverse workforce, with different perspectives and different outlooks, means we end up having a stronger company. This is about trying to do things well, to have good recruitment, good training, and ultimately having a diversity of views and opinions that can lead to very strong results.”

Now, Reilly follows that with an update from PPL, where the male-to-female split for its 342 employees in 2017 was 56% and 44% respectively, with a mean gender pay gap of 6.6%,

Read on for an exclusive extract from Music Week’s interview with Reilly.

How are established routes into the industry changing?
“The routes into the music industry are changing, slowly but surely. The shift towards apprenticeships and paid internships is a positive step. More opportunities are advertised to a wider pool of talent, meaning that the paid jobs go to those who are the most skilled. Having a qualification in the relevant subject is not the only sign of talent; there are many working in music from their bedrooms, or for local organisations, that might not have a formal education, or the 'right' connections, but are highly skilled and are a tremendous asset to the industry and the creative economy.”

What responsibilities does PPL you have to the industry and to the people we’re welcoming into it?
“We have a responsibility to uphold the industry to the highest standards possible – particularly when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. PPL was proud to win the Company Award for Diversity in the Workplace at the Music Week Women in Music Awards in 2018 and we believe that, with a more diverse workforce that is based on skill, ability and desire - not simply relationship qualifications - we make ourselves and the industry stronger.”

Routes into the music industry are changing, slowly but surely

Kate Reilly, PPL

Can the music industry ever shake associations with a lack of diversity and equality?
“Yes, it can and it is already making progress. UK Music’s 2018 Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey revealed representation of BAME and women is on the up, measured between 2016 and 2018. There is still work to do though; there is a lower representation of women aged 35 and above when compared to younger age groups, and BAME representation in the 45-65 age groups is still lower than the UK population average. Ultimately, change takes time, but initiatives like UK Music’s Skills Programme Board and Diversity Taskforce are making it happen by raising awareness and putting initiatives in place to create lasting change. 

How do you see the future of music recruitment, where will we be in five, ten years’ time?
“PPL’s recruitment mantra is “hire the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons, and for the right role.” This is the future we would like the music industry to be aiming for and, with the upward diversity trends reflected in UK Music’s 2018 Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey, we are optimistic we will reach it. As we continue to increase the diversity of the talent pool that we hire from and build on our environment for all of our employees to learn effectively, the new starters in our industry will become the senior executives in ten years’ time, cementing the diversity of our industry at all levels.”

Subscribers can read the recruitment feature in full here.

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