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News December 16, 2020

UMA updates Diversity & Inclusion programme, adds Indigenous Inclusion initiative

Senior Journalist, B2B
UMA updates Diversity & Inclusion programme, adds Indigenous Inclusion initiative

Universal Music Australia is updating and improving its progressive agenda for the workplace and across its activities.

The major music company today (16th December) expands its two-year-old Diversity and Inclusion programme, which now includes an Indigenous Inclusion initiative, TIO can reveal.

George Ash, President of Universal Music Australia and New Zealand, has been championing policy reviews at UMA for some time and has implemented the new framework.

At its heart, the Diversity & Inclusion initiative focuses on areas to hire the best people and to ensure the company is looking after current staff.

It’s nothing short of a “priority” for the business, explains Ash, “both because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s the smart thing to do.”

He continues, “Our work to continuously improve our program is part of our belief that these policies must be embedded in the company at a practical level, and lead by our people to achieve true cultural change.”

As part of its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, UMA staff attended cultural awareness sessions and interactive workshops developed with Mirri Mirri, an Aboriginal-owned company dedicated to the understanding and awareness of Indigenous cultures.

Through its partnership with Mirri Mirri, UMA now boasts a set of Cultural Protocol guidelines for employees, a training program for artists and management, and an internship initiative for Indigenous Australians at the music giant, among other updates.

“Through these enhancements, we are working to further shape a workplace culture that is creative, competitive and, importantly, values diversity while recognising the many lived industry experiences,” comments Janine Ashton, Senior Vice-President of Human Resources, Universal Music Australia and New Zealand.

From the outset, “our goal has been to partner with leaders in Diversity and Inclusion to help us implement a ‘gold standard’ program that brings our values to life, as shaped by our people and their ideas.”

UMA’s ongoing Diversity and Inclusion programme is an upgrade to its 2018 document, which formalises policies on parental leave, flexible hours, wellbeing and more.

In the business of music, Universal Music Group and its Australasian affiliate is coming off another solid year, during a difficult time.

Universal Music artists

North American Universal signings Juice WRLD, Taylor Swift, Eminem, The Weeknd were the most popular artists on Spotify and Apple Music users in these parts, with The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ declared the biggest song on Spotify in Australia and worldwide this year.

Another Universal signing, Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala, bagged a leading five ARIA Awards in November, for their chart-topping fourth album The Slow Rush.

And during a stretch in August, UMG conquered the U.S. albums chart in record fashion by bagging nine of the top 10 albums.

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker photo by Matt Sav

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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