The call came as the collective voice for the music industry and its Diversity Taskforce published their new report, Moving the Dial on Diversity, to examine progress over the last year.
The new report builds on the publication in October 2020 of UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan, which outlined the clear steps needed to make the music industry a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone working in the sector.
It reveals that, while UK Music’s ten member organisations have made strong progress towards the targets set out in the Ten-Point Plan, more work is needed to deliver sustainable change and ensure the sector truly reflects its audiences.
The report outlines a series of key areas where more work is needed as part of the music industry’s determination to lead the way for the creative industries in fighting racism and boosting diversity.
The recommendations include the need for greater transparency around data to help highlight areas where more work is needed, more clarity from the Government on reporting standards linked to ethnicity, and more investment from companies in music in diversity and inclusion.
Driving change across wider society
Writing in the report, football legend and diversity champion Rio Ferdinand welcomed the progress made by the music industry and outlined how the sector could drive change right across the creative industries, sport and wider society.
The former England and Manchester United star revealed how music plays an important role in his Rio Ferdinand Foundation, a youth and community development charity working in some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.
Rio Ferdinand said:
“Music has always been a major passion of mine; it’s been the soundtrack to my life and the backing track to my fitness regimes. It has also been a key area of work for my Foundation who recognise that music, along with sport, is a key cultural driver for young people in terms of voice, aspiration, and personal development.
“I’ve enjoyed listening and watching great music from afar like most people, but the killing of George Floyd and the outpouring of self-reflection from several industries made me look deeper into the role music can play and how all these new pledges for change would manifest themselves in the future.
“I’ve always felt that accountability must cut across all industries, but at the core of these issues is you cannot have change in diversity without complete transparency.
“What this progress report shows is a willingness for the music industry to listen to colleagues from diverse communities and act - not only benchmark themselves but move the dial in a respectful manner. Taking the learnings from these past twelve months, we need to do more over the next ten years. In music, just as in football, and in life, we need to unite in diversity.”
A framework is essential in creating a music industry that works for everyone
Naomi Pohl, MU Deputy General Secretary commented on the Ten-Point plan:
“Implementing the Ten-Point plan over the past year has focused the MU’s equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, and has ensured that we are working towards targets that will make the MU more representative of the communities we operate in.
“The plan has the potential to move the needle on diversity across the music industry and the MU would encourage any organisation that hasn’t signed up yet to do so. Having a framework, with specific targets and concrete actions is essential in creating a music industry that is diverse, inclusive and works for everyone.”