Warner Music Group Announces Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Institute and Commitments

February 14, 2022

Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced the launch of their Global DEI Institute, having earlier this month revealed their north-star Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) commitments as part of the company’s first Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report.

WMG’s first global head of DEI, Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett and the global DEI team are working across the company to build local implementation DEI plans, tailored to regional needs and challenges, as well as to foster links to social impact initiatives that benefit marginalized communities. 

The DEI Institute, which will serve as a hub of innovation, learning and action within the company is the first of its kind within the music industry. The Institute also creates a critical forum to engage external expertise from a variety of perspectives as we work to fulfill our global DEI commitments and implement local action plans across the company. 

Warner Music Group Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett said, “Warner Music Group is taking a bold step toward inclusion, equity and lasting change by institutionalizing this hub of training and innovation. I am thrilled to partner with some of the most brilliant minds in our industry and culture to further develop our leaders and offer educational opportunities for everyone at WMG. As a company, we continue to reflect internally and build the roadmap ahead toward more equity and inclusion, and this Institute will help drive this imperative work. This isn’t a moment we are responding to; this is a commitment that will be baked into the fabric of our company and industry for generations to come.” 

The Institute will be home to several educational initiatives, including the company’s MOVEMENT DEI education series, a rotating set of dialogue-based workshops where people at WMG learn, grow, and reflect together on key aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion including anti-racism, ableism, homophobia, and sexism. It will also host the Inclusive Leadership Series for executives at the company, led by experts Dr. Stephanie Creary (Wharton School of Business) and Dr. Zoe Kinias (INSEAD). 

In recognition of the complexity and systemic nature of social issues, the Institute brings together a cadre of DEI experts to educate and collaboratively solution. The Institute’s 2022 programming includes offerings from experts and leaders such as authors Roxane Gay and Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) and in partnership with organizations including OutRight Action International, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National Disability Institute, Global Indigenous Council, and the Global Fund for Women. 

The Institute will also include a DEI Innovation Lab, which will accelerate new strategies to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion internally, while providing opportunities for emerging leaders to showcase their skills and capabilities. Employees will be invited to apply to pitch an idea for a new project or initiative related to DEI to a panel of DEI leaders. The panel will then select 1-2 projects bi-annually to support and help to identify a business sponsor. Employees across the organization will have the opportunity to apply to participate on the project team, enhancing cross-cultural and cross-business collaboration and continuing to help drive DEI changemaking. 

Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said, “It’s not enough to just acknowledge problematic histories or the resulting discrimination and miseducation that remain in place. We’ve got to actively break them down and build up new, equitable, inclusive environments where all people can belong – and we’ve got to do it together. Enlisting a wide range of experts, thought-leaders, and innovators will help us continuously evolve a culture of education and empowerment for our people, artists, and songwriters around the globe.” 

Managing Director of Warner Music China Sherry Tan said, “The Institute demonstrates that WMG sees DEI as an imperative in every single country we work in. Having this global resource to tap into will be an incredible opportunity for learning and changemaking in the areas we most need to grow.” 

President of Warner Music Latin America Alejandro Duque said, “We’re always looking for new ways to drive collaboration and leverage our creativity at WMG. Bringing together employees from across the world through the Institute to problem solve and innovate to drive greater equity and inclusion at the company will be an amazing way to create change and develop future leaders.” 

The commitments, as announced in WMG’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report on February 1st, are as follows: 

  • Diversity: We commit to building teams across all levels of WMG that reflect the diversity of the communities we work in and with. 
  • Equity: We commit to promoting fairness and justice and addressing historical divergences in opportunity. 
  • Inclusion: We commit to fostering a culture of belonging where each person can be their authentic self, valued for their unique contributions, and supported to grow. 
  • Accountability: We commit to monitoring and disclosing data on ethnicity and gender representation across all levels of our company to help drive awareness and accountability where legally possible. 

Find more details on how WMG pledges to accomplish their DEI commitments here, along with plans for accountability.