Measuring progress: UK Music Diversity Taskforce chair Ammo Talwar on driving the inclusion agenda

Measuring progress: UK Music Diversity Taskforce chair Ammo Talwar on driving the inclusion agenda

Following consultation with stakeholders and roundtables in search of solutions for the music industry, UK Music delivered its Ten-Point Plan in 2020 to help increase diversity and boost inclusion at the trade bodies who belong to the umbrella organisation. Here, UK Music Diversity Taskforce chair Ammo Talwar looks at the progress so far…

Following the death of George Floyd, the protests supporting Black Lives Matter, and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Black and Asian people, women and people with disabilities, diversity as an issue came into sharp focus in 2020. The impact of these events was felt by many in the music industry. It was real and it was raw.   

While diversity had been a topic of discussion for several years, many did not feel they could see visible change in the music industry. They felt that leaders were not acknowledging the grief, guilt, self-doubt and confusion that workplace diversity barriers were causing.   


In response to the situation, UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce consulted stakeholders across the industry and conducted roundtables in search of solutions. The result of this work was a time-bound framework called the Ten-Point Plan.  

Unveiled in October 2020, the plan outlined 10 points of action, which can be read here, and that UK Music and its members – AIM, BPI, Ivors Academy, FAC, MMF, MPA, MPG, Musicians’ Union, PPL and PRS for Music – signed up to achieve. 

The consultations had revealed that accountability and urgency were important to the industry. Therefore, unlike previous commitments to diversity, this plan was curated to include clear actions to be taken by UK Music and its members – with progress on those proposed actions being monitored.   


If the question in 2020 was ‘what do we do?’, the question in 2024 is, ‘What progress have we made?’  

In review of the Ten-Point Plan, UK Music trade body members said it had brought a sharp focus on diversity to their organisations in a structured, measurable and practical way.   

The plan inspired new partnerships and helped to raise awareness internally and externally on what was already taking place, what should be continued and the gaps where more work was needed. It also encouraged accountability across all parties.   

The organisations involved reported that some actions were easily implementable, such as stopping the use of the term “urban” when talking about Black music and the use of the acronym BAME when talking about Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the UK.    

In addition to this, identifying and partnering with a socially engaged organisation was also achievable. Members found that appointing a senior person accountable for diversity and a person responsible for taking forward diversity initiatives in their organisations was straightforward and this ensured diversity was kept on the agenda.   

However, some points were found to be more challenging. Some mentioned issues around a lack of knowledge and available resources that could help in the development of policies. In organisations with smaller teams, ensuring that workers could not be identified by their responses to pay gap or other diversity reporting was a strong consideration. 

Also, employee turnover or changes in roles meant that an organisation’s diversity make-up could be dramatically altered if one or two people left the organisation.   

What’s clear from our experiences is that discussing the challenges we face in implementing diversity objectives is key to overcoming them

Ammo Talwar

On balance, most of the organisations initially found it challenging to reach executive board diversity targets. Organisations learnt through the process that the identification of potential candidates was only one barrier and could be overcome through deeper research and partnerships.   

The more difficult part was ensuring the candidates had a network that could vote and support them in their campaigns for a seat at the board table.

To combat this, they had to push themselves to think more creatively. This included inviting non-voting observers to board meetings to diversify the input and perspectives at the meeting. They also created advocacy and succession programmes to build people towards these roles.   

The work members have done in this area has been reflected in 2024’s Seat At The Table report from Women in CTRL, which found that the representation of women on UK music trade association boards has now risen to 52%, up from 32% in 2020.

The similarities and differences in how each of the UK Music members approached the Ten-Point Plan highlights that instilling diversity into the culture of an organisation requires effort, deep commitment, tailoring to suit the people in the organisation and an acceptance that diversity is a steady helix of progress rather than a fast and straight line.   

This leaves two questions. Firstly, did the organisations all make significant progress on every one of the ten points? Yes. Do they all have more work to do? Yes.  


Through undertaking the Ten-Point Plan, UK Music has come to a deeper understanding of ‘how’ to implement greater diversity and inclusion. Members are forward-thinking and willing to engage in conversation, which shouldn’t be underestimated as an important first step. 

However, permanent and impactful change comes through a continuous process of identifying areas that don’t support good EDI values, implementing solutions to address them and reviewing the progress being made.  

From the learnings UK Music and members gained from the Ten-Point Plan, UK Music and the Diversity Taskforce developed a complementary resource called The Five Ps, which can be seen here.   

Based on the theory of change, a methodology used by organisations and government to promote social change, the Five Ps suggests key areas that organisations should focus on for building their diversity strategies. These five areas are: people, policy, partnerships and purchase.   

While the Ten-Point Plan offers specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound goals, the Five Ps is a flexible and adaptive resource that provides prompts and considerations, which means that all kinds of organisations from across the music industry (and other industries) can use it. 

All of UK Music’s diversity resources have been created in collaboration with a broad range of industry stakeholders and are available to the entire creative sector and beyond. If you’re interested in discovering more, UK Music will be running events and producing further resources to help organisations level up their diversity strategies.   

What’s clear from our experiences is that discussing the challenges we face in implementing diversity objectives is key to overcoming them. We hope the challenges faced by UK Music and its members can now serve as a guide and inspiration for all of us to keep on working together to drive things forward for the benefit of us all.   


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