Driving change and encouraging diversity and inclusion in the music industry
As a leading creator of sounds and scoring tools, Spitfire Audio works with a diverse range of musicians, composers and producers worldwide. The music industry’s race and gender imbalance are well known, and Spitfire Audio has been working to promote careers in the music industry to a wider, more diverse audience and build its own diversity and inclusivity. With a world-class New Child Policy which is gender inclusive of any parent of a new child, (whether that be by surrogacy, as a same sex couple or in terms of providing flexibility for what is otherwise separated into maternity and paternity leave policies), Spitfire Audio has been working to embed EDI into their policies and procedures over the past few years.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum in 2020, Spitfire Audio wanted to assess their own diversity and inclusivity, with the objective of engaging and working more effectively with diverse groups and individuals in the industry.
Diversity audit and diagnostics
Spitfire Audio approached EW Group to conduct a diversity audit to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. Working closely with the Spitfire Audio’s People and senior leadership team, EW Group’s DE&I specialists carried out an in-depth diversity audit. EW Group DE&I consultant, Enya Doyle, and dedicated project manager, Rui Martins, organised and facilitated workshops with staff across the company and reviewed numerous policies and procedures. The resulting report captured recommendations and practical actions the organisation could take to create a more inclusive culture.
Grace Colebeck-Smith, Head of Projects, People & Office at Spitfire Audio said: “The audit report is always on my desk and is really useful. EW provided us with a broad analysis and practical actions. Enya was great to work with, creating an open and honest atmosphere where staff felt comfortable to share and discuss their personal experiences and sensitive topics.”
Inclusive cultures and leadership training
One of the report recommendations was to undertake inclusive cultures training for all staff. Enya Doyle delivered an online e-learning course for over 70 Spitfire Audio employees based in the UK and USA. The training session was designed to help delegates understand the role of privilege and bias in the workplace, identify their own biases, and to give them practical tools for speaking up against poor behaviour and developing more inclusive behaviours – personally and as a team.
“I really enjoyed the session and the range of topics it covered under the large umbrella of inclusivity. I also really benefited from the ways of how to handle situations and speak up when things are not right.”
Following the delivery of the training, Enya and the EW project team worked closely with Spitfire Audio to support them with their on-going policy review. This included ad hoc support and troubleshooting, guidance on how to approach difficult conversations, and a detailed review and update of the recruitment process to broaden the range of people reached in the hiring process.
“Thank you for another fantastic session, feels really great to all get together and discuss these issues openly!”
Subsequently, EW Group also delivered an inclusive leadership course in November 2021. Reinforcing and building on the work already undertaken, the training session focussed on building inclusive behaviours and skills for leaders within the organisation, encouraging them to think about their individual styles of leadership and how they work together as a team to make Spitfire the most inclusive place it can be.
Enya Doyle commented: “Working with Spitfire Audio has been a rewarding, two-way process since day one. There is a clear sense that employees at Spitfire Audio are keen to embed EDI in all that they do and are committed to asking the hard questions of the company and of themselves as individuals. Importantly, they understand the business case narrative but that doesn’t necessarily drive their willingness for change.”
Looking ahead – embedding DE&I into our culture
In 2022, Spitfire Audio has ambitious growth plans and are looking to recruit for a number of new roles and foster new partnerships in the industry. To support this, the EW team will be delivering an inclusive recruitment training programme for the recruitment and hiring team, building on the positive work already completed.
Will Evans, CEO of Spitfire Audio said: “Our mission is to inspire a generation of composers – diversity is at the core of this statement, and it underpins everything we do. We are proud to be working with an increasingly diverse range of composers and partners. Building a diverse team is of huge importance to us at Spitfire Audio and inclusive recruitment is key to achieving this. The support and training EW Group has provided has been invaluable and we look forward to our continued partnership with them.”