UK Music needs more Ethnic Minorities in Top Jobs

UK Music shows need for more Ethnic Minorities in Top Jobs f

UK Music has released data on the ethnic backgrounds of workers in the UK music industry, highlighting a need for more diversity in top jobs.

New data from UK Music has highlighted that there is a need for more ethnic minorities in top jobs.

The data builds on UK Music’s call in October 2020 for the music industry and others to follow the lead of UK Music and its members by dropping the term ‘BAME’ in favour of language that more accurately reflects people’s heritage.

The sector’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion had successfully boosted the representation of ethnic minorities at almost every level.

But UK Music warned that the increases in the number of ethnic minority workers joining at entry-level were not reflected at senior level.

This is shown in new analysis of UK Music data about the ethnic make-up of the music industry.

It highlights where more needs to be done to ensure diverse communities are well-represented at every level of an industry that sustains almost 200,000 jobs.

Key points from survey respondents revealed:

  • People who identified as Black or Black British represented 12.6% of the workforce at Entry Level but lowers to 6.4% at Senior Level.
  • People who identified as Asian or Asian British made up 6.8% of the workforce at Entry Level – dropping to 4% at Senior Level.
  • People who identified as Mixed represented 8.1% at Entry Level, falling to 5.3% at Senior Level.
  • Those who identified as White accounted for 65.4% at Entry Level and 80.1% at Senior Level.

A total of 19.9% of those at Senior Level identified as Black, Asian, or from another ethnic minority group, while 80.1% identified as White.

Overall, 34.6% of respondents at Entry Level identified as Black, Asian, or from another ethnic minority group. This is compared to 65.4% who identified as White.

Ammo Talwar MBE, UK Music Diversity Taskforce Chair, said:

“This data is really important as it’s the first time that UK Music has broken down different ethnic groups into sub-groups of Black, Asian, and Mixed Race – rather than using that outdated and disrespectful catch-all term ‘BAME’.

“It shows the value of dropping the phrase ‘BAME’ when talking about different communities because now we have far more clarity about the different ethnic groups who make up the music industry.

“Our UK Music Diversity Taskforce has a clear strategy in our Ten-Point Plan that we hope will lead the way for other organisations and other sectors to adopt.

“We are determined to make the urgent changes needed to properly represent and support the communities and audiences we serve.”

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music Chief Executive, said:

“I know just how hard the industry is working when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusion.

“These are challenges not just for the music business, but right across society.”

“For our business to reflect modern Britain and our audiences, we need to keep striving to ensure diversity runs right through every level and sector of our industry.”

Rachel Bolland, UK Music Head of Diversity, said:

“This latest data builds on our UK Music Diversity Report 2020 and provides important evidence about the make-up of the music industry.

“We hope it will help inform the important work the industry is already doing when it comes to key issues like the ethnicity and gender pay gap.”

Paulette Long OBE, UK Music Taskforce Deputy Chair, said:

“This new data gives us a much-needed breakdown of career level by ethnic group.

“We were already aware anecdotally of issues among certain ethnic groups in the industry and this data gives us the evidence of the gaps facing those from Black and other communities, who are trying to make their way in the music industry.

“The Ten-Point Plan recommended dropping BAME and this data gives us vindication that it was the right thing to do.

“Next up for the Ten-Point Plan is ethnic pay gap reporting for the sector.

“There remains a systemic inequality that needs to be addressed and we are only at the start of a journey to bring about the change we need.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead of us that needs to be focused and continuous, in order to get a deeper understanding of underlying issues and really make an impact.

“Only those committed to this journey will make headway in bringing down those barriers.”

UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan was welcomed across the creative sector. It is already being implemented by UK Music, its members and the music industry.

The Plan included calls for the term ‘BAME’ to be dropped, more transparency around the ethnic and gender pay gap and more diversity on executive bodies and boards.

Members have already taken steps to improve the diversity of their boards and executive bodies.

The PRS Foundation launched its Power Up initiative to support Black music creators and industry professionals and executives and to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector.

Organisations like the Black Music Coalition and Black Lives In Music are among other positive steps.

UK Music and its members are committed to working with and learning from such organisations.