Black and ethnically diverse employees make up just 1 in 5 of top music jobs, reveals UK Music survey

Black, Asian and other ethnically diverse employees account for just 19.9% – or 1 in 5 – of top music jobs according to a new survey from UK Music, an organisation which represents the collective interests of the UK’s music industry.

The organisation has released new data about the ethnic backgrounds of those working in the UK music industry, breaking down people’s ethnicity into of Black, Asian and Mixed for the first time.

While Music UK’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion has successfully boosted representation of Black, Asian, and people from other ethnic backgrounds at almost every level, the group warned that this shift was not reflected at senior levels. 

The new data revealed that people who identified as Black or Black British represented 12.6% of the workforce at entry level, but just 6.4% at senior level.

Likewise, Asian or Asian employees made up 6.8% of the entry level workforce – dropping to 4% at senior level.

People who identified as Mixed represented 8.1% of entry level jobs and only 5.3% of senior roles. In contrast, those who identified as White accounted for 65.4% of entry levels jobs and 80.1% of senior level roles.

The data highlights where more needs to be done to ensure diverse communities are well represented at every level of the music industry.

The survey follows the publication last year of UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan, which sets out a clear plan for boosting diversity and inclusion.

“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,” said UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

“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.”

Last year, UK Music called on the industry to drop the outdated term “BAME” in favour of language that more accurately reflects people’s heritage.