“The realities of the modern world have brought a heightened awareness of the complexities of the human element in the workplace,” says Masha Osherova, executive vp human resources for Warner Music Group (WMG). And with that awareness, the executives who run the HR departments at the three major-label groups now find themselves in positions of considerable influence as they evolve from administrators of vacation policy and medical plans to the sherpas leading their respective companies across the terrain of #MeToo, equality and diversity.
“We’ve seen a major shift to a mindset where HR has a seat at the table as a strategic thought partner,” says Constance Williams, senior vp and head of human resources for the Americas at Sony Music Entertainment.
For Osherova, 2018 was the first year that she and her HR team translated boardroom discussions of these topics into office policy. They introduced a diversity task force, revised WMG’s parental-leave policy and instituted unconscious bias training to ensure that everyone, from senior management to interns, can “confidently and competently talk about sensitive issues of diversity,” she says.