To Recognise, To Care and To Act for Change

Open Ear’s Commitments to Anti-Racism, Diversity & Inclusion

On the poignant anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we wanted to share our reflections and commitments as a company to become better allies and advocates of Anti-racism, Diversity and Inclusion. ‘Better’ because we could have done more in the past, ‘better’ because we are in a learning process and ‘better’ because we care deeply about our responsibilities moving forward. We will only know if we are achieving our ambitions when our company reflects the positive change we strive to see in our society.

Internally, our small team has a mixed ethnic makeup supporting in part the music curation we represent. Our founder Brian d’Souza is of mixed race, born in Glasgow with parents of Scottish and Kenyan/Goan heritage. His heritage has provided the foundation to a career across music that has always sought to bring people and cultures together. As we grow, we are committed to improving further on the diversity of our team, reflecting both the music industry, our main base in London and the countries where our business is developing. We recognise that with regards to gender there is currently an imbalance in the team, which we will continue to work to address.

In the recent past, we have dissapointingly had incidents that relate to discrimination: racial and otherwise, including one that led to team members choosing to leave the company. When this occurred, we acted quickly, carried out disciplinary procedures and involved team members to participate in a company-wide process and open conversation. We have all been saddened by events, but are committed to the work of ensuring they are learned from and not repeated. We have since sought external professional advice to help review and formalise our policies on these issues and made improvements across a variety of areas within the company as detailed below.


We have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and all forms of discrimination, and have involved independent professional counsel who verify our policy is substantially robust, and is in line with the best practice guidelines set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The key points of our policy include quick and responsive action to any case encountered within the workplace, and robust disciplinary procedures. Our policies are detailed in a new Employee Handbook that every team member receives and signs up to.

This policy is by no means the be all and end all but it helps us create a safer space for all employees to feel comfortable in the workplace, to fully understand their responsibilities when it comes to appropriate language and behaviours, and to give confidence they can raise any grievance trusting that the correct procedure and action will take place effectively.


As a team, we’ve participated in Anti-Racism training conducted by an experienced diversity and inclusivity trainer. The process involved learning about the historical background to racism, the psychological, social and behavioural reasons for its occurrence and provided us with a range of tools that have helped us better understand our actions and the impact these actions may have.

We now host regular calls to discuss diversity and inclusivity to ensure there is open communication, and we have a Slack channel where resources and information can be shared. We’ve built a variety of tools to help bring the team together including weekly catch ups, weekly one-to-one conversations between team members and a better defined outline of how behaviours and communication should be conducted internally.

This new approach to continued learning is now budgeted as a resource and facilitated by a range of independent expert advisors who help us grow both personally and professionally.

Hiring practices

Our small team is spread across the UK to better serve our clients. To date, these hires have been largely facilitated through our network, as is often the case with small businesses. In line with our commitments to equality moving forward, we are in the process of onboarding an independent HR company specialising in ensuring diverse and equal opportunities for all.

Social media and external communications

As a B2B organisation our social media platforms and external communications are in place to inform, inspire and highlight our client stories and team achievements. As a company within the wider music industry we want to celebrate culture from all corners to enable discovery.

However small our voice might be within this online space, we understand that we have a responsibility to approach all of our communications with the consideration, sensitivity and representation that are important to us and our clients. We recognise that mistakes have been made in the past and that inclusive structures for input and approval need to be paramount moving forward.

Moving forward

This is work in progress. We are continuing to explore ways in which we can make improvements both on a company and individual level. We welcome any feedback, comments or insights that will support our efforts to combat racism and promote diversity and inclusivity. Please do get in touch brian@openearmusic.com . To receive a copy of our policy in full, please contact us on the same email address.

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