Stonewall, the U.K.'s leading LGBT equality charity, announced the addition of the Association of Independent Music (AIM) as a diversity champion to help increase representation and inclusivity in the independent sector.
"It's so important that we're now working with AIM," said Vicky Hayden, head of private sector memberships at Stonewall. "We need everyone involved in independent music to feel included and welcome. To make this happen, we need individuals and organisations to step up to show their support for LGBT people and that's what AIM have done today. We're excited they've joined us as a Diversity Champion and we look forward to working with them to help further LGBT equality in music."
According to Stonewall's research, up to 35 percent of LGBT people in Britain do not disclose this information because they fear discrimination. AIM is working to encourage members to create a safe environment where LGBT staff can reach their full potential.
"The independent sector is a diverse community in its very essence, added Paul Pacifico the ceo of AIM. "Diversity is one of our greatest assets and I am proud to say that we have always been leaders in this area. However, it's crucial that we don't become complacent — there is still a lot of work to be done. Through our partnership with Stonewall, we will be offering advice, information and practical steps for our members to help improve LGBT equality, get the best out of their staff and improve their business. We hope the wider industry will recognize the need for progression in this area, and join us in doing what they can to improve the culture of acceptance and inclusivity in the world of music."
Members are provided with the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index to help them expand their equality policies. AIM will assist by compiling research and best-practice guides. They are also creating empowerment programs to provide members with the knowledge to be public role modes on LGBT equality and inclusion.
"Initiatives like Stonewall are vital for equal representation of LGBTQ identifying people not just in the music industry but in general, said Dream Wife (Lucky Number Music). "Raising awareness and taking action on issues such as this is are important. We need more role models that are female identifying and non-binary in the music business, we need to normalise these roles and the access to them; particularly within the LGBTQ community. We need to stand together in this, we need to be loud and we need to be proud!"