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Moving Beyond Talk: From Action to Impact

24th May 2024

Sam Stimpson smiling at camera

In 2021, Music Mark commissioned a research report exploring workforce diversity and representation in London Music Education Hubs through the lens of racism. This research report was written and prepared by Samantha Stimpson, the Founder & Managing Director of equity, diversity and inclusion consultancy, SLS 360. Samantha’s research report helped guide our Talk into Action campaign; we caught up with her to discuss how outcomes and impact can be measured.  


The Talk in Action campaign catalysed meaningful change by encouraging members to pledge to take action towards embedding EDI and provided a series of events, resources and support for organisations. Some may question why the movement has ended. Are we done now? What’s next? 

Far from it! I see the end of this movement not as a pivot to other priorities, but as a shift. The work doesn’t halt at implementation; rather, it extends to measuring the real impact of our endeavours, focusing on concrete outcomes and measuring impact. 

After 2 years, what progress has been made and what lies on the road ahead? How do you measure Impact and assessing the efficacy of your efforts?  

As ACE increases the requirement to demonstrate a commitment to Inclusion (which incorporates equity and diversity) there are a few actions we at SLS 360, recommend to measure the impact of your work. 

  1. Data Collection and Analysis: There should be a robust system in place for collecting data related to EDI initiatives, including demographic information, programme participation, and feedback mechanisms. Targets are useful but so is what you have learned as part of the process.
  2. Evaluation Frameworks: This is key in order to assess the impact of EDI initiatives on organisational culture, student outcomes, and community engagement.  
  3. Stakeholder Feedback: Regularly solicit feedback from stakeholders, including students, workforce, teachers, parents, and community members, to gauge the effectiveness of your EDI initiatives and identify areas for improvement. 
  4. Long-Term Impact Assessment: Adopt a long-term perspective when evaluating the impact of EDI initiatives, recognising that meaningful change takes time and persistence. 

A shift from action to impact means being laser focussed on outcomes and not activity. This means ensuring any inclusion strategies have Clear Objectives with measurable outcome goals aligned with your organisation’s mission and values. Action Plans which outline specific steps for achieving EDI goals, including timelines, responsible parties, and resources required. Accountability Mechanisms to ensure that progress towards EDI goals is regularly monitored and evaluated and opportunities to Celebrate Success: it’s the journey not the end goal that matters when embedding a culture of inclusivity and collective impact. 

We have made progress and I hope momentum continues and the data shows we are on track to reach our goals. We still need to talk however and constantly reflect and (if needed) redirect so we are on course. When we reflect on the next few years, what story will be told? I for one hope it is one that has a happy ending. What do you think?