The Opening Act – One step closer to a more diverse future

The Opening Act - One step closer to a more diverse future

It’s hard to believe we are now looking back at this unforgettable experience in October.
As we grow as a company globally, we try really hard to mirror the diverse communities we serve. To do this, we have to look into new avenues to reach the future generation. For us, The Opening Act did just that!

We hosted 80 students from across the nation for historically black colleges & universities (HBCU) for a day and a half experience. The conference program showed off an impressive lineup, a rockstar group of thought-leaders & industry experts. There were keynotes, panels, and workshops with senior executives from Facebook, Netflix and JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, & 2020 Shift. The experience was crowned by keynotes from Steve Pamon of Parkwood Entertainment and our very own Danielle Lee, sharing their personal & professional journeys.

“For every great production, there is an Opening Act. In similar fashion, we are hoping that Spotify’s The Opening Act is only the beginning of each of us walking the talk of Diversity & Inclusion. The Opening Act is a collaborative effort, a passion project, and we’re excited to tell you about it.”
– The Opening Act Planning Committee

The result?  It was simply amazing!
We asked the students to provide us with some feedback related to the conference, workshops, & speakers – it seems as though they were super pleased!

“This conference allowed me to understand what the tech industry entailed and how there are a plethora of options for us minorities.”

“To some, a career in tech or music seems hard to achieve, but talking with people in the field showed us students that we can get there and beyond.”

“Learning that I am valued in a company such as Spotify”

So, where do we go from here?
We continue to champion our efforts to show that the tech industry (and yes, Spotify itself) is a place to call home! Also, we are taking additional steps to give conference participants that apply for US internships a chance to be considered early – we will have Diversity Interview Days on December 15th & 16th where some of the candidates from the conference will interview for summer 2017 internships.
The reality of this story is that, yes, we can make a difference and if we put our efforts together with the business (in this situation Product Design & Partner Solutions), we can create a movement that allows more diverse talent to experience #LifeAtSpotify.

Conference facts and figures

The Opening Act was a two-day conference hosted at our office in NYC. 905 students from the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities of America applied, all with an essay on how music impacts culture or themselves. 80 students were invited and took part.

Many thanks to all the Spotify volunteers that made this happen, and to Isa Notermans, Hannah Wolf, Rochelle King, Danielle Lee, Troy Carter, Xavier Jernigan, Kene Anoliefo, Sebastian Torres, Elyse Hornbacher, BLK@Spotify, & The Application Review Committee

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