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New survey reveals increased diversity among British music industry workforce

Despite the positive results, leaders state that more must be done to boost diversity further

UK Music, the umbrella body representing the UK’s commercial music industry, published the results of its 2018 Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey today.

The UK’s world-leading music industry contributes £4.5 billion a year to the UK economy.

The survey, which focused on sex and ethnicity, aims to track the progress of increasing diversity and inclusion in the music industry. The results revealed a boost of diversity in the British music industry workforce, but leaders warn more must be done.

Led by UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce and its chairman Keith Harris OBE, the survey collated data from across the music business, including artists, songwriters, composers, musicians, studio producers, music managers, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector.

Launched in 2016, this is the second time that findings of the survey have been published. The results provide insight into the improved proportion of diversity in the music industry, and also show where more work is needed.

The key findings from almost 3,000 music industry workers who responded to the survey are:

BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) representation in the UK music industry is up from 15.6 per cent in 2016 to 17.8 per cent in 2018.

The proportion of women in the music industry rose from 45.3 per cent in 2016 to 49.1 per cent in 2018. The percentage of young women (aged 16 to 24) in the industry is up from 54.6 per cent in 2016 to 65.3 per cent in 2018.

BAME representation among young workers (aged 16 to 24) rose from 20.2 per cent in 2016 to 25.9 per cent in 2018.

BAME representation rose among interns and apprentices from 24.4 per cent in 2016 to 35.2 per cent in 2018.

BAME representation increased among senior managers from 11.4% in 2016 to 18.8% in 2018.

The survey has revealed a lower representation of females aged 35 and above compared to younger age groups. BAME representation among workers aged 45 to 65 increased from 10 per cent to 11.4 per cent of the workforce. However, the figure is still below the 12.8 per cent BAME total representation for the UK population as a whole.

The survey has shown several positive developments and ongoing challenges that UK Music will continue to track with future surveys, in the years ahead. The surveys are carried out annually with the results published every two years.

Keith Harris OBE said: “The survey remains an important tool in terms of making sure that some of the initiatives put in place across the industry are bearing fruit. Things are changing for the better. Progress has been slow but steady. We are continuing to keep our focus on ethnicity and sex as the most obvious indicators that things are changing, while remembering that diversity in the industry is about much more than that. Socio-economic background is among the important but often neglected areas which needs attention.”

Michael Dugher UK Music CEO stated: “Our industry is doing very well at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that we can shy away from the more difficult challenges we face. British music is a world-leading success story and one that we as a country should be very proud of. But I want us to be equally proud of our diversity as an industry.

“Whilst we can welcome some very real and significant improvements, we still have much more work to do. Just imagine how much more successful our industry could be in the future, if we could only deepen the well from which we draw our talent?”

According to Jeremy Wright, culture secretary: “Everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to build a successful career in the music industry. Diversity makes good business sense and I hope the improvements we have seen will continue so we have the strongest, most vibrant, and inclusive music industry possible.”

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