UK Music reveals 2020 diversity survey results, unveils 10-point action plan

Music industry trade organisation UK Music has published the findings of its 2020 diversity survey and announced a 10-point plan to boost diversity across the business.

Since launching in 2016, the UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey has tracked the industry’s progress in boosting diversity and creating a more inclusive working environment.The 2020 survey – which saw a record 3,670 people working in the industry take part – found that representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities among those aged 16-24 in the music industry stands at record 30.6 per cent – up from 25.9% in 2018. It also shows that the proportion of women in the industry has grown from 45.3 per cent in 2016 to a new high of 49.6 per cent in 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of people from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities at entry-level has risen from 23.2 per cent in 2018 to a new high of 34.6 per cent in 2020. Furthermore, representation of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities at senior executive levels has increased from 17.9 per cent in 2018 to new high of 19.9 per cent.

However, the survey also found that the number of women in the 45-64 age group has dropped from 38.7 per cent in 2018 to 35 per cent in 2020.

UK Music has also introduced a new 10-point plan designed to generate real, practical change across the industry.

The Ten-Point plan is outlined below:

  • Urban classification to be replaced in all reports and communications – either by genre such as Soul or Rap; UK Music members will commit to support those who wish to use the term “black music”. Members to stop using the acronym BAME – use Black, Asian or ethnic minority background rather than acronym.
  • UK Music members to compile a database of persons accountable & responsible for diversity across organisation.
  • UK Music members to commit and spend an allocated amount of their annual recruitment budget to ensure a diverse candidate pool.
  • UK Music members to allocate a certain amount of their annual training budget on a 12-month diversity Continuing Professional Development / training programme to ensure fair career opportunities for all.
  • UK Music members to allocate budget and implement a programme to increase diverse representation in middle and senior management.
  • UK Music members to help UK Music implement better transparency around Gender and Ethnic pay gap – move towards lower reporting rate of 50+ employees.
  • Each UK Music member to identify a socially engaged organisation whose work relates to gender or race whom they can invest in on a long term basis.
  • Each UK Music member to develop diversity policies and internally set diversity targets for core staff. Targets to be published & reported to UK Music and updated annually in order to assess progress. Member bodies to promote diversity and inclusion to partners and stakeholders ensuring industry standards are met.
  • UK Music members to amplify their work with UK Music Diversity Taskforce to increase the response rate and ultimately the data collected in the Biennial UK Music Workforce. Diversity Survey with both their own employees and membership. Aim to have 80% of core staff respond to next survey.
  • Each UK Music members to work towards increasing diversity on its executive bodies and boards – 30% diverse (race) and 50% (gender).

UK Music Diversity Taskforce chair Ammo Talwar MBE said: “Against a backdrop of global change the Diversity Taskforce has been carefully listening, challenging and working behind the scenes to help shape a transformational and game-changing Ten-Point Plan.

“This plan is data driven, evidence based with metrics and lived experience. It’s the accumulation of nine months’ work across the whole music industry to support yet hold the industry to account. No tokenistic statements, no short-term wins but a truly collaborative long term plan that reboots the sector and ensures diversity is front and centre of all major decisions.”

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin added: “As an industry, we are united in our determination to lead the way on improving diversity and inclusion in our sector and across society

“This report consists of a frank and candid analysis of the current situation our industry faces, and a bold and ambitious Ten-Point Plan for how to achieve the positive change we all want to see. It’s relevant not just to the music industry, but to organisations everywhere.”

“If our music industry is to tell the story of modern-day Britain, then it needs to look like modern-day Britain too. This ground-breaking report is an important step towards achieving that.”

UK Music head of diversity Rachel Bolland also commented: “We have listened to diverse communities and worked with the Diversity Taskforce to change our language and approach to the Diversity Report and have produced our most comprehensive report to date.

“Focus groups allowed us to listen to the lived experiences of people in our industry and helped to frame the survey questions and the content of the report. We are committed to listening and adapting moving forward.”

UK Music Taskforce Deputy Chair Paulette Long OBE said: “The last four and a half years has seen our Diversity Taskforce lead the way with a survey giving evidence of issues that needed highlighting, and introducing a Ten-Point Plan to address and rectify some of the underlying obstacles.

“It’s good to see industry organisations review and reset imbalances on their boards, but I am still wary of ‘knee jerk’ reactions and want to task industry gatekeepers to look towards making long lasting systemic changes. Let us resolve to never turn back.”