Music industry has become less diverse since 2020, study finds: "We must not take our foot off the accelerator when it comes to driving positive change"

(Image credit: Getty)

A new report from UK Music has found that the number of ethnically diverse people working in the UK music industry has fallen since 2020. 

The UK Music Diversity report found that 21.04% of those working in the music industry identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, a figure that's over 1% lower than the 22.3% reported in 2020. 

In entry-level positions, the number has decreased dramatically, from 34.6% to 23.6%. The figures suggest that the lasting effects of the pandemic on the music industry have disproportionately impacted those from diverse backgrounds.

In a statement, Ammo Talwar MBE, the organization's Diversity Taskforce Chair, commented: “Our 2022 survey shows how those from Black, Asian and other diverse communities have been hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19. 

"The drop in the percentage of employees in several sectors of the industry is further evidence of why we must not take our foot off the accelerator when it comes to driving positive changes on diversity and inclusion as swiftly as we can.“

While the music industry has grown less ethnically diverse, there have been significant improvements in the numbers of women and disabled people surveyed. 52.9% of individuals working in the music industry in 2022 identified as a woman, an increase of 3.5% over two years. The percentage of women in mid and senior level roles has also shown a welcome increase.

14.9% of those in the industry reported a disability, up from 12.2% in 2020. The report notes that this could suggest that more individuals with a disability are now working within the industry, or that a greater number of those surveyed now feel comfortable disclosing their condition. 

The report has set out a five-point action plan aimed at accelerating positive change by amplifying diversity and inclusion within the music business. The plan recommends that businesses publish data on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps, increase opportunities for underrepresented groups, and cultivate a transparent, safe and inclusive culture for all staff.

“Boosting inclusion is mission-critical to the future success of our sector," UK Music's Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said. "Whether it’s businesses and organisations who need the broadest range of talent to draw on, or individuals who want to forge a successful career in our industry regardless of their background, it’s in all our interests to make sure the music industry is genuinely open and accessible to all.”


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