The founders of Black Lives in Music (BLiM) have called on UK politicians to intervene and level out gender and ethnicity pay gaps within the music industry.
Chief executive Charisse Beaumont (pictured) and managing director Roger Wilson, alongside Noisettes frontwoman Shingai Shoniwa, delivered a speech to Westminster’s House of Commons on Wednesday 16th November, in which they presented BLiM’s research and advocacy work to the All-Parliamentary Group on Music.
Highlighting marked differences in opportunities and income for women, non-binary and non-white artists and professionals, they urged policymakers to take direct action to rectify the situation through mandatory publishing of an annual pay gap report alongside accompanying commitments to address disparities.
“We need government support for the facilitation of the industry-wide Anti-Racism Code of Conduct and Independent Standards Authority to tackle discrimination, bullying and harassment in the UK Music Industry. We are grateful to the APPG on Music for being a supportive voice for the issues that Black Lives in Music are bringing to public discussion,” said BLiM’s Chief Executive, Beaumont (pictured).
The organisation, which has just celebrated two years of amplifying, platforming, and supporting increased Black representation within the music industry, has also confirmed that it is now an Arts Council Investment Principles Support Organisation. This essentially makes long-term project planning far easier, with three years of guaranteed assistance from the date an application to the scheme is accepted, a key scheme in attempts to stabilise the creative industries as they emerge from the pandemic.
“It’s been a whirlwind two years for Black Lives in Music. I’m immensely proud of the work that the organisation has delivered on, and in an incredibly short space of time. Equally, I’m excited and enthused by the discussions and collaborations that we have enjoyed with the wider music community,” said BLiM’s Managing Director, Roger Wilson.”We believe that honest, open conversations drive social change. There is a considerable way to go in our aim to build a truly inclusive music community, but we feel assured that objective is achievable through hard work, conversation and collaboration. We look forward to the work ahead with much excitement and thank all who have supported us thus far.”
Since inception in 2020, BLiM has chalked up a number of notable achievements. These include rolling out vital surveys such as last year’s Being Black In The UK Music Industry Pt.1, developing the industry-wide Anti-Racism Code of Conduct, launching a youth mentorship scheme with the Royal Opera House, and championing inclusive practices at six acclaimed music conservatories. This week, it was announced that Bradley Wilson will take up the first ever Conductor In Residence post at London Schools Symphony Orchestra following an open call from BLiM and Guildhall Young Artists.