In Conversation With : Patricia Pereira

Patricia Pereira Director, People & Culture and Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Kobalt is one of the world’s largest, most innovative music companies, using technology to power creative freedom, transparency, ownership and control for artists, songwriters, publishers, and labels.

This month they launch a newpaid 6-month internship program across multiple roles in the business running from October 2022 to April 2023. Successful applicants will work 25 hours a week, and receive an 8-week intensive learning course on the music industry, as well as a special speaker series where once a quarter, you will have access to a wide range of industry professionals to immerse yourself in the music publishing industry.

To find out more about the program, the recruitment process and why a diverse rance of applicants is so important, we spoke to Patricia Pereira, Director, People & Culture and Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

You can apply for all the roles here.
You can also read an interview with Saxon Waisome Assistant, Writer & Publisher Relations at Kobalt, a previous member of the internship program here.

This article is part of a paid partnership between Route and Kobalt Music Group designed to encourage and support diversity of applications ensuring these opportunities are acccessible to all.

Can you explain a bit about the Kobalt DEI Taskforce and how and why it was set up?

Our DEI efforts at Kobalt form part of our Company's Strategic Goals. We want to ensure that every DEI initiative that we create is fit for purpose and will enable progressive change.

Tell us about your role and what that entails.

The role provides strategic leadership in developing and implementing programs and initiatives that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within Kobalt's P&C function. It provides key influence in changing culture and management practices within the organization for all global functional areas. The role aims to instill and permeate equity, diversity and inclusion into all programs, initiatives, policies, and processes. This role is accountable for reporting progress on staff diversity and inclusion efforts to the organization as a way to foster and ensure accountability from leadership.

Why is diversity important, both at Kobalt and within the music industry as a whole?

The Music industry is represented by a very diverse group of creators and as such Kobalt feels responsible for ensuring that we too as an organisation have representation that reflects the industry we are in. We are enablers and contributors of progressive and disruptive change. It’s very important to us that we can continue to build that diversity in- house.

Can you talk us through the recruitment process at Kobalt as it stands?

Our recruitment process varies slightly depending on which area of the business you are applying for. Each role will have different requirements so we may need to tailor the interview stages to enable a fair and consistent process. But when interviewing for Kobalt, there are typically 4 stages which may include assessment where appropriate

For interns, we have taken a different route which is simpler and perhaps a little bit less daunting as we want to set them up for success and realise that this might be their very first interview experience. Despite the area of the business you interview for, all our hiring journeys include a culture add interview. This is a competency based interview where you usually meet someone from outside the department you will work with to learn more about what it’s like working at Kobalt.

In the interview, they will assess what you can add to our culture by interviewing against attributes such as problem solving, accountability, humility, team working and ambitions that all align with Kobalt’s values.

Which grassroots organisations are you working with to help shape your approach to recruitment?

Our Technology and Product function is working with She Can Code currently to attract more Women in Tech, we have some other partnerships in the pipeline this year. On the Music and shared services side of Kobalt, we work closely with organisations such as Small Green Shoots and ensure our roles are shared with networks and communities such as Social Fixt, Women in Music, She is the Music as well as Route!

How diverse is the team currently and what are your aims both in terms of percentages and how that will affect the culture around Kobalt long term?

Our Global team is gender diverse but on ethnicity, we remain progressive to enhance our underrepresented communities, particularly at Senior Levels in the company. We have made significant progress and remain hopeful we can increase it by 10% by 2024. The impact of having a diverse senior group is that we can provide role models to employees, we can provide diversity of skill and thought leadership. It’s important to us that our employees see the opportunities that exist for them through learning and development. Please refer to our Pay Gap Report on our website for further insights.

What will the Kobalt Internship Scheme look like in terms of training and guidance for young people from diverse backgrounds?

We have created a structure that will enable anyone regardless of their background to take a step into what the Music industry is and what it can provide in terms of future career prospects. Interns will be immersed in an enriching learning environment with people from varied backgrounds, with different experiences.

What are some of the qualities or skills you’re looking for from potential applicants?

Our criteria is simple. We want people that want to learn and want to get fully immersed in the Music industry’s ecosystem.

Will interns be able to engage with the different teams across the business for a rounded view of the whole operation or will it be more of a specialised approach with training in one specific area?

The Interns will be assigned a department, where they will be buddied up with one employee who will be accountable for their learning and supporting them throughout the duration of the internship. They will have the opportunity to collaborate and learn across teams as well.

What do you hope interns will gain from working at Kobalt and will there be an opportunity for them to transition into a longer-term role?

We hope the program will help them decide or open their minds to the type of careers they can have within the Music industry. Everything they will learn, will be a solid foundation for them to begin a career in the music industry, so we think that it’ll be an easy transition if they choose to stay with us post the internship.