Equality & Diversity

The Five Ps: The Music Industry’s Action Plan

The action plan maps out five key areas that UK Music and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce hope the music industry can use as a framework to deliver enduring results for diversity and inclusion.

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The action plan maps out five key areas that UK Music and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce hope the music industry can use as a framework to deliver enduring results for diversity and inclusion.


In 2020, UK Music examined the trends that emerged from our 2016 and 2018 Diversity
Reports, as well as the qualitative research that had been collected via focus groups in 2019, to create a music industry Ten-Point Plan. The Plan offered clear actions that could be taken by UK Music members and the wider industry to take significant steps towards improving diversity in the music industry.

It represented the building blocks for an organisation to commence their journey of positive change. The Ten-Point Plan should continue to be considered the launchpad – or a starter’s toolkit – for driving initial change within any organisation committed to being more equitable and diverse. In 2022, it was decided that UK Music members needed to build on that foundation with a more tangible framework with flexible targets to measure change and assess meaningful impact.

Theory of Change

In considering how to further develop the aims of the Ten-Point Plan, a theory of change model was explored. A theory of change typically describes how change can come about through various interventions. The idea of a theory of change is regarded by many as a flexible approach that is able to capture the more complicated, real-world nature of initiatives. It has become a popular tool within government, or for those who work in complex and changeable environments. It encourages a more holistic understanding of context, which makes it an ideal model for considering diversity in the music industry. As with any theory of change model, this looked at five key areas for consideration.

Initially this model looked as follows:

Investment: What we can commit in terms of finance,
people and resources.

The policy we introduce and tasks we undertake to drive change

The tangible partnerships and results.

The benefits that will be derived from each purchase, activity and output.

The lasting progress we hope to see.

The theory of change exercise led UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce to “The Five Ps” – a
framework for change and charting progress in the longer term across multiple protected or diverse characteristics.

UK Music membership is made up of trade and member organisations from across the music industry. As with Ten-Point Plan, members are encouraged to continue to communicate to and support their own members to meet the ambitions of the Five Ps including through any initiatives they may already have in place.

The Five Ps

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.


Organisations are nothing without their people. Diverse workplaces have better productivity, improved reputation and a greater sense of pride of place among staff. Diverse talent must be cultivated through fair hiring processes, nourished through an inclusive environment and encouraged by engaged leaders.

1. Improved equity of opportunity: Champion staff through allyship, mentoring programmes, and by giving a platform to new voices.

2. More inclusive leadership: Cultivate a transparent, safe, and consciously inclusive culture for all staff.

3. Increase opportunities for under-represented groups: Ensure that every staff member is given chances to develop their skills and knowledge.


Policy change is an important first step in improving outcomes and having lasting
impact. It is crucial for organisations to create a vision that will sustain positive, long-term
diversity goals, while allowing them the room to go beyond the simple legal requirements.

1. Shape policies and procedures: Work towards a five-year equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy and vision.

2. Beyond legal framework: Identify barriers to entry or inclusion beyond legislation and action appropriately – for example, by considering socio-economic background and regional inequalities.

3. Sustain delivery: Incorporate EDI into every part of an organisation’s structures and systems for systemic change, rather than only recognising “one offs.


Strategic partnerships have clear mutual benefits. For larger organisations these can increase knowledge or expertise. For smaller organisations these partnerships can help build experience, provide exposure and offer resource. A fundamental step towards building an inclusive industry is sharing our skills and growing alongside one another.

1. Build partnerships: Cultivate at least one new, long term EDI partnership with an organisation outside of their geographical base.

2. Stronger industry coalitions: Embed at least one coalition partnership with a socially engaged organisation beyond your regular network.

3. Broadening best practice and support: Organisations to mentor at least one smaller company and help them shape best practice*


Sometimes, even the most diverse organisations need to ask if the way they function, operate and obtain goods or services could better encourage diversity. Organisations need to look at their purchase process across all tenders and consider the benefits of how external influence and challenge can improve leadership.

1. Lead the sector: Ensure strong EDI mindset is at the heart of all tenders or procurement and ensure a diverse set of suppliers in the process.

2. Increased EDI compliance: Engage with and adopt EDI standards to broaden the number of organisations who meet the highest standards of best practice.

3. Enhanced education: Deliver masterclasses and training programmes to enable staff to grow beyond the boundaries of their roles and responsibilities.


Impact can be measured in a number of ways, but charting progress is one of the most fundamental pillars of measuring success. This can range from raising awareness about reporting standards, to publishing data, which is relevant to encouraging progress. Where possible, reporting must be intersectional and go beyond the very basic or legal requirements.

1. Raise awareness: Internally and externally around EDI audit, review and outcomes.

2. Share data and insights: Establish best practice by publishing data on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps annually*

3. Progress and report: Increase data transparency and take an intersectional approach to data analysis.

* In recognition of resource demands, these apply to organisations with more than 25
employees only.

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