Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force Hopes to Foster Broader Music Community

Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force Hopes to Foster Broader Music Community

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The Recording Academy, the leading society of music professionals and the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards, will implement recommendations set forth by the Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, including restructuring its Board of Trustees to ensure that music creators from the broadest range of ages, backgrounds, genders, genres, crafts and regions are fully represented within the organization’s leadership.

At the Academy’s invitation, the Task Force convened in March 2018 to examine issues of diversity and inclusion within the Recording Academy and the broader music community. On Dec. 12, 2019, the Task Force issued an official report, which sets forth specific reforms and recommendations for the Recording Academy and outlines issues that continue to affect underrepresented people within the broader music community. Veteran attorney, former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and TIME’S UP CEO Tina Tchen chaired the Task Force.

“The mission of the Recording Academy is to serve and advocate for music creators from all genres and of all genders and generations,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan. “We have recently made tremendous progress and I’m proud to report that our leadership team is currently 50 percent female and that the 2019 Academy membership class is the most diverse in our history. However, there is still work to be done. We are deeply committed to continuing to implement the Task Force’s recommendations and building a community that is truly representative of our diverse and dynamic creators.”

“Over the course of the last year and a half, the Task Force dedicated hundreds of hours of their time to conduct a thorough analysis of how the Recording Academy could do better to create a diverse and inclusive environment for all workers and music creators. We owe a debt of gratitude to the impressive lineup of leaders from throughout the music industry who served on the Task Force for their tireless commitment to changing the Academy, and the industry, for the better,” said Tchen. “We are also so grateful for the full cooperation and participation of the Recording Academy at every step, and are encouraged by the commitment to change they announced today.”

The Task Force report outlines a range of recommendations that touch virtually every part of the Academy’s operations, from internal policies and organizational structure to the GRAMMY nominations process. The Recording Academy has already made significant progress toward implementing 17 of the 18 reforms set forth by the Task Force, including ensuring gender parity on Awards and Governance committees, publicly reporting on the demographic composition of its workforce across different levels of seniority, and increasing outreach to diverse communities, which include key initiatives for female producers and engineers.

Additionally, in 2020, the Recording Academy will formulate formal diversity and inclusion goals for the Academy’s Board of Trustees and adopt a new Board structure that will prioritize identifying and elevating a diverse range of music creators to positions of leadership on the Board.

The Academy will continue to research the report’s recommendation to change portions of the GRAMMY Award voting process to a ranked-choice system.

The full Recording Academy Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report can be found here.

An overview of the Recording Academy’s progress implementing the recommendations of the Task Force can be found here.

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