UK Music: It’s Still A Man’s World


UK Music has announced the results of an industry diversity survey, revealing that ethnic minority representation in the market currently stands at 15.6%. In addition, the results confirm that the upper levels of the industry remain male dominated, with women in 30% of senior executive roles despite holding 60% of intern roles and 59% of entry-level roles.

The glass ceiling remains and age is also a factor- the study also revealed that women made up more than half of the workforce aged 25 to 34 but only 33% of those between 45 and 64, perhaps suggesting a drop off to raise a family but also an ingrained reluctance to promote women to the top jobs.

According to the survey, the 15.6% BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) representation is higher than the figure for the UK population as a whole, which stands at 12.8%. However, the survey also points out that two thirds of music industry workers are based in London where BAME people account for 30.3% of the workforce.

UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple said: “This survey gives us the first real insight into diversity across all businesses in the music industry. The history of British music is one of merging multiple genres from numerous cultures into unique sounds. Diversity has allowed our industry to sustain a global reputation for the UK. Nurturing and bolstering workforce diversity adds strength to this country’s astonishing musical output. The two go hand in hand”.

Keith Harris OBE, who chaired UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce added: “It seems that we have reached a moment where the need to improve the diversity of our industry is being matched by a desire by all the interested parties to put initiatives in place that will make a significant difference. I am optimistic that over the coming few years we will see a significant improvement”.

The industry is at least starting to try and address longstanding issues of diversity and representation, with various initiatives and events focused on representation of women in music. The BRITS voting academy went through a shake up in November last year, inviting 700 new voting members to shift the gender split from 70-30 men to almost 50-50 male and female, alongside 17% from BAME backgrounds- an increase from 15%. Frankly, it is not good enough. Can we do better in 2017?

The survey will be repeated on an annual basis to maintain pressure on the industry to improve. Find out more here.

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