This founder persuaded Spotify, Acast, and the BBC to sign a pledge to boost diversity


Renay Richardson

  • The death of George Floyd and subsequent demands for justice have forced individuals and organizations around the world to demonstrate their commitment to racial equality.
  • Renay Richardson, founder of podcast production firm Broccoli, has spearheaded a campaign calling on major industry players to sign a new “Equality in Audio Pact”. 
  • Spotify UK, Acast and BBC Radio are among those that have agreed to ban unpaid internships and avoid only using people of color on projects concerning race. 
  • In a media career spanning two decades, Richardson told Business Insider the audio industry was the one in which she most “felt like an outsider”. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Spotify, Acast and a host of other major players in the audio industry have signed a pledge promising to improve diversity within their ranks.

Renay Richardson, founder of podcasting startup Broccoli, launched the “Equality in Audio Pact” three weeks ago in the wake of the death of George Floyd, which has forced industries and individuals to reckon with their understanding of racism. 

The pledge calls on production companies to end unpaid internships, avoid exclusively placing employees on projects related to their ethnicity or sexual identity, publish race and gender pay gap data, stop taking part in panels that “do not represent” the locations where they take place, and “be transparent” about business partnerships. 

“If you put these things in place, take a snapshot of your workplace today and another one in 18 months,” says Richardson. “I guarantee you’ll see a difference.” 

Richardson launched the campaign in collaboration alongside three other smaller audio firms: We Are Unedited, Falling Tree Productions, and Boom Shakalaka Productions. 

She previously produced “About Race”, a podcast series written and hosted by Renni Eddo-Lodge, author of the bestselling “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”.  

Speaking of the origins of the campaign, she said: “With everything that’s happened around the world in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we felt like this was a moment for us to demand real change in the audio industry. 

“Me and my friends have been talking about what it’s like to be a person of color in the podcasting world. I’ve worked in the media for around 20 years, in film and TV and other stuff. I should be feeling more confident by now, but in this industry – and I tell everyone this – I’ve never felt so black in my life.” 

After signing the pledge, Spotify’s UK and Ireland Twitter account tweeted: “We fully support the amazing work being done by [Broccoli]. We have signed the #EqualityInAudio pact.” 

Other big-name signatories include Acast, Bauer Media Group (the home of KISS, Magic, and Absolute), and BBC Radio. 

“For us, the most important thing was to try and make our demands actionable. Of course I’d like to end racism full stop, but that’s not going to happen overnight.

“Hopefully this sets us on the right path.” 

The full list of Equality in Audio Pact signatories can be found here. 

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