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Diversity in the Music Industry


At the end of last year UK Music released its latest diversity report with key findings and data on gender, ethnicity, disability, menopause, parenting and caring responsibilities, sexual orientation and gender identity, and socio-economic background. It has created an action plan called 'The Five Ps' which maps out the five key areas that UK Music hopes the music industry can use as a framework to deliver enduring results.

The plan focuses on people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress and outlines suggested policies drawn both from UK Music’s survey findings and the lived experiences of those from diverse communities via a series of round-table events.

According to the survey, the number of women working in the music industry has reached a record high of 52.9%, with a significant increase in the number of women in mid and senior level roles. Specifically, the number of women in mid-level roles rose from 40.4% in 2020 to 45.1% in 2022, and those in senior roles increased from 51.2% in 2020 to 53.3% in 2022. However, the survey also shows that there is a drop in ethnic diversity within the industry, with 21.04% of individuals identifying as Black, Asian, or from an ethnically diverse background, down from 22.3% in the previous survey. This decrease may be due to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on employees from these communities, which led to a decrease in total jobs in the sector from a pre-pandemic high of 197,000 to 145,000 in 2021.

The survey also found that 14.9% of the industry reported a disability, up from 12.2% in 2020. Of those with a disability, 67.2% reported feeling that they had to compromise their health for work. Disabled individuals were most represented at apprentice or intern level, with 13.6% reporting a visible disability. In terms of menopause, the survey collected data for the first time on the experiences of women or menstruating persons experiencing the menopause and its impact on their careers. 11.2% of respondents reported experiencing menopause/perimenopause, and 47.5% reported that their work was affected by its symptoms. However, 76.6% of these individuals did not take time off work to manage their symptoms.

The survey also found that parents and carers are underrepresented in the music industry, with 29.7% of respondents identifying as such compared to 44% of the UK working population. Of the 68% of respondents with no care responsibilities, the majority were female, indicating a loss of female talent when they become mothers or carers. The report also includes data on representation of LGBTQ+ employees and employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds within the industry.

In response to the findings of the survey, UK Music has released a radical action plan with 15 key recommendations for improving diversity and inclusion within the music industry. These recommendations include initiatives such as creating a mentorship program for Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse professionals, offering flexible working options for parents and carers, and implementing unconscious bias training for employees.

You can read the full report here

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