Music Week can exclusively reveal the findings from UK Music’s diversity survey, which found that ethnic minority representation in the market currently stands at 15.6%.
The survey, which was launched in July 2016, is designed to provide a snapshot of the state of workplace diversity across the industry and highlight which areas are in the greatest need of attention. Around 3,000 staff from across the industry took part in the study.
According to the survey, the 15.6% BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) representation is higher than the figure for the UK population as a whole (12.8%). However, the survey also points out that two thirds of music industry workers are based in London where BAME people account for 30.3% of the workforce.
The survey also found that 27.5% of new starters in the industry - those who have worked for under a year – are classified as BAME. That number does, however, dwindle significantly as the focus shifts to more senior roles. Findings show that 23.7% of BAME workers aged 25-34 are in senior roles. Between the ages of 35 and 44 the figure is 11.7% and from 45 to 64 it is 7.6%.
Regarding gender, the overall split of men and women is currently 53.6% to 45.3%, respectively, showing that women are underrepresented in line with the UK population, which is 49.3% men and 50.7% women. On the flipside, between the ages of 25 and 34, women make up 54.5% of the workforce, although this number drops to 41.4% in the 35 to 44 age range and to 32.7% between 45 and 64.
Keith Harris OBE, chairman of UK Music’s diversity taskforce, said: “It seems that we have reached a moment where the need to improve the diversity of our industry is being matched by a desire by all the interested parties to put initiatives in place that will make a significant difference. I am optimistic that over the coming few years we will see a significant improvement.”
Jo Dipple, UK Music chief executive, commented: “This survey gives us the first real insight into diversity across all businesses in the music industry. The history of British music is one of merging multiple genres from numerous cultures into unique sounds. Diversity has allowed our industry to sustain a global reputation for the UK. Nurturing and bolstering workforce diversity adds strength to this country’s astonishing musical output. The two go hand in hand.”
See today’s issue of Music Week for more analysis and additional comments from Harris, Dipple, BPI chief executive and culture minister Matt Hancock.