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UK Music Reveals Findings Of 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey – And Urges Next Government To Be “Fast and Fearless” To Boost Diversity And Inclusion

18.06.2024: UK Music today unveiled the findings of its 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey, which gives a revealing snapshot of those working behind the scenes in the UK music industry. 

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18.06.2024: UK Music today unveiled the findings of its 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey, which gives a revealing snapshot of those working behind the scenes in the UK music industry. 

The results show significant improvements in the areas of gender and ethnicity. However, the findings also highlight areas where more progress is needed. 

A total of 2,874 people from across the industry responded to the UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey, carried out between January 17 and March 31, 2024. The findings are published now in the UK Music Diversity Report 2024. 

The survey has focused on the music industry workforce and not the creator community since its inception in 2016, because it was felt that this was a less visible but influential area that was not being monitored.  

Ahead of the general election on July 4, the UK Music Diversity Report 2024 also outlines the key asks from the sector of the next Government to boost equity, diversity and inclusion. 

The key findings of the 2024 UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey include: 

Gender 

  • A total of 53.8% of those who responded to the 2024 survey identified as a woman – a rise from 52.9% in 2022. 
  • The representation of women in senior level (48.3%) is lower than at mid (52.4%), and entry level (61.5%). However, there has been positive progress over several years, with senior representation rising from 40.4% in 2020 to 45.1% in 2022, and to the current 48.3% level. 
  • In 2024, women are well represented in the 25-34 age category (58.6%) but in the 45-54 age category (46.6%) and 55-64 (39.2%) female representation starts to drop.  

Ethnicity 

  • There is an increase this year in the total number of employees from ethnically diverse communities compared to 2022 – with the percentage rising from 21% in 2022 to 25.2% in 2024.  
  • The number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse respondents aged 16-24 rose substantially from 23.2% in 2022 to 40.6% in 2024. There are a number of initiatives across the music industry to improve access for ethnically diverse young people and this rise suggests they are working. 
  • In entry-level positions, the number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse employees rose from 23.6% in 2022 to 32.5% in 2024.  
  • At a senior level the rise was positive but less dramatic – increasing from 18.2% in 2022 to 22.1% in 2024.  

Disability  

  • The percentage of people responding to the survey who reported a disability, neurodiversity or a long-term health condition rose from 14.9% in 2022 to 25.1% in 2024.  
  • However, it should be noted the 2024 survey asked about disability and neurodiversity in a single question, while the 2022 and 2020 surveys asked about them in two separate questions, and so this is the likely reason for the significant change this year.  

Social Economic  

  • In line with standard government metrics on socio-economic classification, the survey asked respondents; “What was the occupation of your main household earner when you were about aged 14?”.  
  • Analysis of this question reveals that most survey respondents come from professional backgrounds (56.1%). The next largest group come from working-class backgrounds (20.9%), followed by those from intermediate backgrounds (14.8%). [Definitions of parental occupation groups can be found below under notes to editors.] 

Sexual Orientation  

  • 76.4% of respondents identified as heterosexual, 6% responded as homosexual (gay/lesbian), 4.7% said they were bisexual, 3% said they were queer, 2% said they identified as pansexual, 1.5% said they were questioning, 0.7% identified as asexual and 4.5% preferred not to say.  

Protected characteristics  

For the first time, the 2024 report uses statistics from all nine groups from the Equality Act 2010 in the report. While ethnicity, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, carer responsibilities (as an alternative for the protected characteristic, pregnancy) and gender reassignment have been featured in the report before, faith and marital status are featured for the first time.  

These findings reveal: 17.9% are LGBTQIA+, 1.7% identify as transgender, 25.2% have caring responsibilities for a child or children under 18 and 47.7% of respondents do not have a faith. 

UK Music and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce plan to consider these findings in more detail this Autumn. 

When it comes to actions that UK Music Diversity Taskforce would like to see from the next Government to support the sector’s work, key recommendations are set out in UK Music’s recently published Manifesto for Music – which also includes the sector’s wider asks to politicians and policymakers [see notes to editor for more details]. 

UK Music Diversity Taskforce Chair Ammo Talwar MBE said:  

“We have seen steady progress on increasing diversity across the music industry since we launched this survey in 2016, with further significant improvements year on year.  

“That’s down to some of the brilliant initiatives in the sector that are driving change and those organisations that have led the way with integrity and transparency.  

“However, there is still loads more to do – and we need the next Government to be fast and fearless when it comes to working with us to tear down the remaining barriers. 

“The socio-economic data is especially concerning, with figures for those working in the music industry whose parents came from a professional background above the national average. We need to do more to ensure that we’re getting talent from every walk of life.”

UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said:  

“UK Music, our Diversity Taskforce and our members have all worked for years to nurture our sector’s reputation for making diversity and inclusion a top priority.  

“We established our Ten Point Plan, and then built on that with The 5Ps – a framework that mapped out five key areas the industry could use focus on to deliver enduring results for diversity and inclusion – people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress.   

“We are now asking all the political parties, stakeholders and the industry to get behind the priorities outlined in our Manifesto for Music and look forward to working with the Government and new Parliament to deliver this.” 

UK Music Diversity Taskforce Vice-Chair Paulette Long OBE said:  

“Our survey findings tell us that 53.8% of those who responded were women, which is good news, though that may reflect their deeper interest in contributing to change and their heightened awareness of the gender-specific challenges. 

“One of the key challenges is that the data shows us that while more young women are accessing the industry at an early stage, they start to leave the industry in their mid-forties. We need further work to find out exactly why they are leaving, reverse the trend and retain that talent.” 

UK Music Head of Diversity Eunice Obianagha said:  

“We hope this snapshot of how our industry looks today, and this important data, will act as a launchpad for productive conversations across our sector about how we can do better.  

“We want the report to lead to productive outcomes for talented individuals looking to start out in music and businesses seeking to become more welcoming and inclusive places to work. 

“Our plan is to collaborate with industry stakeholders and policymakers in the coming months to continuing making progress towards the music industry we all want to see.” 

Manifesto for Music 

The 2024 Diversity Report concludes with a call to support the diversity asks in UK Music’s Manifesto for Music. 

The manifesto urges the next Government to develop a comprehensive, medium to long-term music strategy for growth. A forward-thinking roadmap, formulated by policymakers and industry, will drive growth and success through this crucial period. 

The report has four asks to Government to boost equity, diversity and inclusion:  

  • Extend the limitation period for discrimination or harassment claims under the Equality Act 2010 from three months to six months.  
  • Mandate reporting of ethnicity and disability pay gap data while reducing the threshold to include companies with over 50 employees. 
  • Commission an independent review into how the Metropolitan Police and local authorities react and respond to Black music events.  
  • Review the impact of Access to Work on those working in the music industry with a view to ensuring claimants receive support within four weeks. 

Read the Diversity Report 2024 here.

Find out more about UK Music’s diversity work here

Discover more about the Manifesto for Music here

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