Warner Music Group has launched its Global DEI Institute, having earlier this month revealed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) commitments as part of the company’s first Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report.
WMG’s first global head of DEI, Dr Maurice A. Stinnett and the global team, are working across the company to build local implementation DEI plans, tailored to regional needs and challenges, as well as to foster links to social impact initiatives that benefit marginalised communities.
The DEI Institute, which will serve as a hub of innovation, learning and action within the company is the first of its kind within the music industry. The Institute also creates a forum to engage external expertise from a variety of perspectives.
Warner Music Group global head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr Maurice A. Stinnett, said: “Warner Music Group is taking a bold step toward inclusion, equity and lasting change by institutionalising this hub of training and innovation. I am thrilled to partner with some of the most brilliant minds in our industry and culture to further develop our leaders and offer educational opportunities for everyone at WMG.
“As a company, we continue to reflect internally and build the roadmap ahead toward more equity and inclusion, and this Institute will help drive this imperative work. This isn’t a moment we are responding to; this is a commitment that will be baked into the fabric of our company and industry for generations to come.”
The Institute will be home to several educational initiatives, including the company’s Movement DEI education series, a rotating set of workshops on key aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion including anti-racism, ableism, homophobia, and sexism.
It will also host the Inclusive Leadership Series for executives at the company, led by experts Dr Stephanie Creary (Wharton School of Business) and Dr Zoe Kinias (INSEAD).
The Institute’s 2022 programming includes offerings from experts and leaders such as authors Roxane Gay and Dr Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University), and in partnership with organisations including OutRight Action International, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, National Disability Institute, Global Indigenous Council, and the Global Fund for Women.
The Institute will also include a DEI Innovation Lab, which will accelerate new strategies to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion internally, while providing opportunities for emerging leaders to showcase their skills and capabilities.
Employees will be invited to apply to pitch an idea for a new project or initiative related to DEI to a panel of DEI leaders. The panel will then select between one and two projects bi-annually to support and help to identify a business sponsor.
Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said: “It’s not enough to just acknowledge problematic histories or the resulting discrimination and miseducation that remain in place. We’ve got to actively break them down and build up new, equitable, inclusive environments where all people can belong – and we’ve got to do it together. Enlisting a wide range of experts, thought-leaders, and innovators will help us continuously evolve a culture of education and empowerment for our people, artists, and songwriters around the globe.”
Managing director of Warner Music China, Sherry Tan, said: “The Institute demonstrates that WMG sees DEI as an imperative in every single country we work in. Having this global resource to tap into will be an incredible opportunity for learning and changemaking in the areas we most need to grow.”
President of Warner Music Latin America, Alejandro Duque, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to drive collaboration and leverage our creativity at WMG. Bringing together employees from across the world through the Institute to problem solve and innovate to drive greater equity and inclusion at the company will be an amazing way to create change and develop future leaders.”