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STATE OF PLAY: DIVERSITY IN U.K. BIZ

The number of women working in the U.K. music industry has reached a record high of 52.9%, according to the results of a UK Music survey. However, the report outlines a disappointing drop in ethnic diversity.

The 2022 Workforce Diversity Survey, which collected data from 2,980 respondents, found a 3.3% rise in the total number of women employees in the British business—up from 49.6% in 2020.

While women are well represented in the 35-44 age category (53%), the 45-54 age bracket (44.3%) is the point at which female representation starts to drop. The numbers fall further for those aged 55-64 (33.3%). 

When it comes to ethnicity, just over a fifth (21%) of people working in the U.K. music business identify as Black, Asian or of an ethnically diverse background. That’s down from 22.3% two years ago.

The number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse respondents aged 25-34 rose to 26.3% in 2022 from 24.8% in 2020, indicating that efforts to improve career progression may be starting to have an effect.  

But in entry-level positions, ethnically diverse employees drastically fell to 23.6% in 2022 from 34.6% in 2020. At the senior level, there was a drop to 18.3% in 2022 from 19.9% in 2020. 

The report sets out a new music-industry action plan to accelerate positive change by boosting diversity and inclusion. It maps out five key areas: people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress.

“Boosting inclusion is mission-critical to the future success of our sector,” said UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. “Whether it’s businesses and organizations that 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.  

“The findings of our 2022 survey show that while we are making progress, there remains much more we need to be doing to break down the barriers that still block people from succeeding in our industry.”

Read the full report here.

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