United Talent Agency (UTA) has pledged $1 million to social justice causes. The company announced today that the commitment will be accompanied by a series of internal initiatives which include raising pay for entry-level positions, unconscious bias training for all colleagues, increasing representation of people of color in senior-level positions and throughout UTA, and promoting senior agents of color to the UTA partnership.
Spearheaded by the UTA Foundation, funds will be UTA will be provided to social justice organizations over four years, guided by the UTA Foundation, which decisions on the distribution of financial support coming in the next few weeks. In addition, UTA’s Project Impact, where the company traditionally closes for a day of action on community-based projects, will focus solely on issues of social justice and racial inequality this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the day will entail an ongoing series of virtual conversations over the coming weeks and months with leading nonprofits in the social and racial justice space.
The company said these actions result from efforts in recent weeks led by leaders, colleagues of color and allies across UTA to have candid and thoughtful dialogue about the internal steps necessary to make meaningful and sustainable progress toward a more equitable community.
“The past few weeks have shown that we must address the pace in which we’ve approached our diversity and inclusion efforts,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “It’s our responsibility to move forward with immediacy to ensure change happens, as a company and as individuals. I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues who stepped up and spoke truth to power. They are making UTA an even better place to work and helping drive true and meaningful progress well beyond our four walls.”
Other initiatives that the company has put forth to bolster its commitment to diversity and inclusion are observing Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday; increasing recruitment efforts will ensure candidates of color are actively pursued and considered for every available position; enhancing UTA’s internal Mentoring Program by creating a specialized, identity-based path supporting colleagues of color; a remodeled UTA Agent Training Program that will focus on driving increased inclusivity, retention and promotion for colleagues of color and other underrepresented employees; and creating an internal Leadership Council comprised of a diverse coalition of colleagues from all levels to advise, shape and influence company culture and policy.
“We believe diverse backgrounds and life experiences influence positive perspectives and great storytelling, yielding broader opportunities for our clients, said Shanique Bonelli-Moore, UTA’s Executive Director of Inclusion. Much of this work is already underway. It won’t all happen overnight. But we are putting our stake in the ground publicly to hold ourselves accountable and are implementing systems to sustain urgency as we pursue lasting change.”
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