- The inaugural Warner Music Group Environmental Social Governance 2021 Report reveals that turnover rates were highest among WMG employees whose gender was not declared.
- In 2021, 14% of exiting employees self-identified as male; 15% of exiting employees were self-identified female; 19% of exiting employees identified as neither male nor female, or did not declare a gender.
- Turnover rates for employees who did not declare a binary gender have been historically high: 24% in 2020, 33% in 2019 and 31% in 2018, in some cases 10 percentage points higher than percentages of exiting employees who identified as men or women in each of those years.
In spite of these numbers, WMG, rated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, met the prerequisite criteria of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. For recognition in HRC’s index, companies must have a non-discrimination policy that protects gender identity and sexual orientation and includes domestic partner benefits, trans-inclusive health care, LGBTQ competency and training, and a public commitment to the community.
DEI training seminars and solid policies do make up a critical framework. Regarding HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, Interim HRC President Joni Madison said in a press release, "By using the CEI criteria as a guide, businesses can help ensure that their existing policy and benefits infrastructure is inclusive of LGBTQ workers and their families." Madison added that this kind of inclusion does lead "to proven increases" in the recruitment and retention of talent.
The WMG report highlights its mobilization last year against anti-LGBTQ legislation in Tennessee, and mentioned partnerships with Outright Action International. However, it’s important to note that LGBTQ inclusion extends beyond days of learning, Pride statements and robust policies. HR experts have long emphasized the importance of a multi-pronged approach to queer inclusion, combining the above with candid, uncomfortable company-wide conversations.
HR Dive reached out to the label for comment regarding turnover disparities by gender and whether it had any specific initiatives championing LGBTQ employees, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
In its ESG report, however, the label did highlight accountability as a crucial aspect of its work in diversity, equity and inclusion:
"We believe monitoring and disclosing data on gender and ethnicity is fundamental to continuing to drive accountability and action. As such, we’ve enclosed data on gender representation in this report," the report said, adding that the label's ESG team hopes to show ethnic representation in its 2022 report.
"While we’re encouraged by the trends in the share of women in senior and executive roles over the past several years, we recognize there is still room to grow. The DEI initiatives we’re implementing are designed to address these historical imbalances," the report continued. "Furthermore, setting measurable and time-bound goals to achieve progress in line with our long-term north star DEI commitments is an important step that we plan to take in the next year."