Ivors Academy moves to increase board diversity

Ivors Academy moves to increase board diversity

The Ivors Academy has moved to improve diversity within the organisation and its awards.

The trade body’s AGM saw a series of announcements to increase diversity on the Academy’s board, and create a new code of ethics and Ethics Committee to review future and past award decision-making. 

It was announced that Paul Hartnoll and Stephen McNeff have stepped down from the board ahead of elections in April 2021, to create space to increase diversity and representation.

The Academy’s draft 12-point Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan is aiming for its board and committees to have a 50% gender balance, 30% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation, and 10% creators with disabilities, involvement of a minimum of one person aged under 25 and avoidance of London-centric representation. 

Crispin Hunt, chair of The Ivors Academy, said, “I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Paul Hartnoll and Stephen McNeff. They have contributed enormously to the Academy’s success and we are indebted to them. I’m hopeful that both will stay involved to advise and advocate for the Academy.

“With the recent appointment of Hope Winter and Imogen Williams in a shared role as under-25 directors, the Academy is making good progress towards having a board that brings a fuller range of perspectives and experiences that represent our community of music creators, and drives us to be greater champions of equality.”

He added: “From September 2020, the number of board directors from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic heritage will increase three-fold to 20% overall. Our board will be almost at gender parity, and we have representation of creators with disabilities and from under 25-year-old creators.

We are announcing today that our four Genre Committees will co-opt up to another two music creators to each committee for the remaining term. They are encouraged to attract creators from diverse backgrounds to help us achieve gender parity, increase our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation, involve more members with disabilities and members from across the UK at all ages.”

Also, at the meeting it was announced that the Academy will establish an Ethics Committee and new code of ethics to review the Academy’s awards decision-making processes for the future and carefully examine past decisions.

This announcement follows anti-Semitic comments by Wiley in July 2020, who received The Ivors Inspiration Award in 2019 for his music contributions to grime in the early 2000’s.

The Academy condemned these comments when they were made, stating: “We stand against all forms of intolerance. Such appalling views have no place in the music creator community.”  

It will now take further steps to establish the obligations of award winners and the process through which awards decisions applying to the future and past can be carefully reviewed. 

Any member or interest group who wish to be notified of the progress of this Ethics Committee or provide input should email contact@ivorsacademy.com

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