Native Instruments Release Statement Following Alleged Racism & Sexism In The Workplace

Music software company Native Instruments have released a statement addressing allegations of racism and sexism within the workplace, brought forward by former employees.

While addressing issues that affect social justice and the serious violation of humans rights, especially recently in light of the Black Lives Matter protests and with June being Pride month: we would expect the majority of companies to confirm that they are truly inclusive – showing us, transparently, that they are willing to put in the effort to make sure their workplaces are a safe space for all, which is sadly not always the case.

We expect clear evidence to back up the work they are doing internally to make sure every employee is treated with dignity and respect.

Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for companies to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ in a way that makes their company image look good, while not actually taking direct action to make sure they are truly practicing what they preach in the workplace.

Music software company Native Instruments have recently come under fire throughout June: with serious allegations of workplace racism, despite the outward statements they have released that claim solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The allegations first surfaced earlier this month when a former employee, QA Engineer Jessy Halison, called out Native Instruments on LinkedIn regarding hypocrisy – following a statement the company released stating they stand with the BLM movement and against racism, and has donated $50,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

On LinkedIn, Halison stated in reference to a 2017 campaign:

We speak about the brand who released a campaign with the N-Word, despite warning and calls in from their (black and brown female) employees. Who lied to them, by saying they would amend it not to be racist and conscious about the impact, but released it nevertheless without changing a single thing. Who didn’t protect said-employees from racist comments on discussion channels when the subject was brought up, who told them that they would have no issues advertising artists using other slur names. Who never apologized to them.

Jessy Halison
Former Employee | QA Engineer

Native Instruments CEO Daniel Haver responded via LinkedIn, with an excerpt stating:

“I appreciate you speaking up and creating a transparent and public discussion on this topic. First, I apologize deeply for your experience as a Native employee during this time and take your feedback extremely seriously. While we have always considered diversity and inclusion an integral part of how NI operates, we have in the past let our unconscious bias make us overlook the realities of POC employees.”

Daniel Haver
Native Instruments CEO

For further context and a detailed look into the situation earlier this month, MixMag covered the story in depth – all links below.

Following Halison’s allegations, other former employees spoke out about racist and sexist discriminatory practices while working at Native Instruments, including NI’s alleged insensitive attitudes toward certain genres of music predominantly spearheaded by BIPOC such as trap, grime and hip-hop.

Following increasing pressure for the company to respond to further allegations, being called out on social media by the likes of Resident Advisor reviews editor and former NI employee Soraya Brouwer, along with a multitude of prominent DJs & producers in the electronic music industry: yesterday (June 22nd) Native Instruments released a full statement promising to do better and outlining steps they plan on taking in order to address these problems within the workplace.

To our former colleagues: We are deeply sorry for what happened. Thank you for all of your contributions to NI despite the challenges you faced while working with us, and for your efforts even now to help make NI better. We also want to thank those who have spoken out via social media, holding us to account and calling on us to do better. Today we want to share our first steps towards ensuring those kinds of experiences become a thing of the past. We are committed to fostering an inclusive workplace with equal treatment and opportunities for all – no matter their ethnicity, gender, age, ability, belief, or sexual orientation. There’s a lot of work to be done, and we need to take a hard look at all aspects of our ways of working.

Native Instruments Statement

For more information, the link to Halison’s initial allegations can be read here, while the in-depth article covered by MixMag in which former employees detail their experience working in the Native Instruments environment can be read here.

For the full statement from Native instruments on their blog click here.