The Diverse Chorus: UK Music Assesses Progress In Its 10-Point Diversity Plan

UK Music, the umbrella trade body for the different sectors comprising the British music business, has published its Moving The Dial On Diversity report in which it outlines how far it and its members have moved on the 10 goals it set last year to help create a more diverse music business. 

The 10 poin

ts are as follows. 

  1. Replacing the term “urban” in all reports and communication and stop using the acronym BAME (switching to “Black, Asian or ethnic minority background” instead)
  2. Members to set up a database of named individuals within the different organizations who are responsible for diversity efforts
  3. Members to commit to spending a proportion of their recruitment budget to ensure a diverse candidate pool in all job applications 
  4. Members to commit a proportion of their training budget for diversity training 
  5. Members to implement a program to increase diverse representation in middle and senior management roles
  6. Members to be more transparent on the issue of the gender and ethnic pay gap in their particular organizations 
  7. Members to identify a socially engaged organization (whose work relates to gender or race) that they can invest in long term
  8. Members to develop diversity policies and set internal diversity targets 
  9. Members to work with the UK Music Diversity Taskforce to get at least 80% of staff to complete diversity surveys
  10. Members to have at least 30% diversity in terms of race and 50% in terms of gender in their executive bodies and boards

A year in, UK Music is taking stock of where progress has been made on each of these 10 points and where attention still needs to be focused. 

It breaks down as follows. 

  1. Across its membership, companies are deploying terminology guides or diversity glossaries to ensure more inclusive language is being used (e.g. using gender-neutral terms and more inclusive terms) 
  2. It has listed all 11 member organizations that make up UK Music with the names of all executives responsible for diversity goals and training 
  3. It notes how PPL has worked with Leonard Cheshire, a disability charity, on its Change 100 Programme to offer work placements, development and mentoring for young people with a disability or long-term condition
  4. It references the Music Managers’ Forum’s Accelerator Programme has committed to supporting new managers from diverse backgrounds (40% female and 45% Black, Asian or ethnic minority, 45% outside London)
  5. It notes how several organizations are working with training provider Raise The Bar to offer training and mentoring for aspiring professionals from diverse backgrounds
  6. Several member organizations have now started publishing annual pay gap reports (a requirement under UK law for companies over a certain size), revelling where progress has been made and where larger steps still need to be taken
  7. Listing the partnerships undertaken by several members to date and how they are helping to place the underrepresented more centrally 
  8. It cites the BPI’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion policy and the Musicians’ Union Equality Action Plan as examples of what is being done here
  9. The UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey will be published in 2022 and members are committing to promote it to ensure high levels of survey responses 
  10. It outlines how member organizations have progressed here, including the Ivors Academy (achieving 50% male/female gender balance, 30% Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation, and 10% creators with disabilities on its boards) and the Music Managers’ Forum (33.3% ethnic diversity on its boards)


No one expects complete changes to happen overnight, but this is an important marker for how far the music industry has collectively travelled here and where it must double down on its efforts. It also offers an important template and roadmap for other music companies and associations around the world. 

These changes are all being played out in public, meaning that the different members will have to show year-on-year improvements – or be publicly held accountable. In the past, the music industry (as with many other industries) was perhaps guilty of paying lip service to change, letting it happen behind closed doors and sometimes hoping that everyone would forget about it and it could fall back into its old ways again. 

This is, in many ways, the music industry holding its own feet to the fire – and it can only become better as a result.

The Tycoon Herald