Defected has hired diversity and inclusion specialist Nathan Jordan as its new head of inclusion.
Currently based in Manchester, Jordan has held roles at Microsoft, Amazon, Dyson and Boots. He previously spent several years living and working in the Middle East, effecting improvements to worker welfare and development.
In 2020, Jordan was presented with a British LGBT+ Award in recognition of his work to improve inclusion and diversity in the UK.
He has worked with The Warehouse Project in Manchester on an inclusion and diversity programme.
“I genuinely love music, specifically house music, and I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience it in the way I do,” said Jordan. “I believe music unites us and has an unmatched ability to create moments of magic that allow all people to come together and free themselves of the restrictions of the outside world.
“However, there is a genuine perception among specific communities that house music is not for them when those communities are the very people responsible for creating the genre.
“Defected play an outsized role in changing those perceptions and have a responsibility to work at pace to create safer spaces. The opportunity we collectively have in front of us is exciting, and I am proud to play a part in making positive progress.”
Since partnering with Defected earlier this year, Jordan has introduced several initiatives focused on Defected’s events being as welcoming as possible to all, wherever they are held. Accountability tool SpeakUp is a new and confidential reporting service that can be used by all Defected people, contractors and freelancers to confidentially report matters with sensitivity.
He has also introduced Rules Of The House, a document which sets out behaviour expectations and clear signposting to SpeakUp for those involved behind the scenes at Defected events. This is now routinely communicated via social media and on-site at events.
For us, it's all about doing what we can to create inclusive and safer spaces for everyone, everywhere we can
For Defected and Glitterbox’s performers and ambassadors, safe forums have been designed to allow the freedom to share their experiences of working with Defected without fear of repercussion.
Jordan will be taking this further to involve event organisers and promoters, helping to set new industry standards and expectations for Defected events and beyond. This was trialled in June in collaboration with the team at Parklife festival, to widespread positive feedback from performers.
He is writing a public pledge of Defected’s commitment to doing more to create safer spaces in order to encourage public accountability, as well as further guidance for local security teams to better understand how to deal with issues that arise.
Jordan’s work over the next few months will see the launch of an industry roundtable to gather professionals and partners to share best practices. Going into 2024, he will be introducing clauses in Defected’s contracts that set minimum inclusion and safety standards where possible.
"As a proud parent of a queer child, I believe and understand that to see change, you need to be the change,” said Defected CEO Wez Saunders. “The origins of house music are in Black, Latino and queer communities. So, with Defected's In Our House We Are All Equal ethos in mind, I wish to continue creating welcoming spaces for all, wherever we are.
“I make decisions with my eyes open but acknowledge that we need assistance. I often consult with a diverse range of employees and trusted advisors about all things Defected and Glitterbox. I am delighted to welcome Nathan as a partner who will help with our development as a business.
Nathan will work with me to ensure our activities are as welcoming and inclusive as possible. For us, it's all about doing what we can to create inclusive and safer spaces for everyone, everywhere we can.
“House music knows no boundaries of race, sexuality, gender, or religion. It has always been about bringing people together and celebrating their differences; we are proud to play a part in that. We continue to offer that same respect, vision and energy and play a role in positive progress."