UK Music’s Head of Diversity On How Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting Helps Diversity

04.04.2022: UK Music's Director of Operations and Head of Diversity Rachel Bolland on gender and ethnicity pay reporting. 

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05.04.2022: UK Music’s Director of Operations and Head of Diversity Rachel Bolland on gender and ethnicity pay reporting. 

One of the key findings of the 2020 UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey was a decline in representation for both women and people from diverse backgrounds in mid and senior level positions. This finding was a key driver between several points in our ground-breaking Ten-Point Plan, which laid out ten steps to help improve diversity, and has been signed up to by all UK Music members. One of these, point six, calls on music trade bodies to support UK Music in implementing better transparency around the gender and ethnic pay gap, and spells out the call to move the reporting to 50 employees, rather than the current 250.

We believe this is important as it helps to ensure that diverse communities have access to careers at all levels and are in receipt of equitable terms and conditions. Pay gap reporting allows for greater transparency and helps to provide quantifiable evidence of a diverse talent drain in mid and senior positions, as well as assessing if women and people from by diverse backgrounds are being paid fairly for their skills and talent. In 2021, we were pleased to see that the Ivors Academy and PRS for Music published the data on their gender and ethnicity pay gaps, whilst PPL published its gender pay gap externally and its ethnicity pay gap internally. We will continue to monitor the industry’s progress on diversity through our survey and report.

UK Music has continued to support its membership and the wider industry in this area. In January 2022 we hosted a masterclass in collaboration with law firm Lewis Silkin on pay gap reporting, common pitfalls and an overview of the difference between the pay gap and equal pay. The seminar was attended by over fifty people from across the industry, showing that the music industry, largely comprised of SMEs and businesses with fewer than 250 employees, has a strong desire to drive this issue forward and to lead the way on lowering the reporting threshold.

The positive movement over past couple of years when it comes to improving diversity in the music industry has been fantastic, but we must not be complacent as there is still more we can do – and the publication of gender and ethnicity pay gaps is one important action that can be taken.

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