In a landmark moment for the UK music industry, the Women in CTRL 2024 Seat at the Table report marks a pivotal turning point as representation of women on UK music trade association boards has risen to 52%. This reflects substantial progress since the inaugural 2020 findings, where women held just 32% of seats.
However the MU understands that more work is urgently needed to ensure that our Executive Committee reflects the growing diversity of our membership.
Reflecting on current representation in our committee structures
As we reflect on the work that remains to be done on diversifying our committee structures, we must consider, at all stages: who is nominated, ballot processes, the number of available seats and the potential difference in diversity between candidate lists and those who win seats, and voter turnout. This raises a need for us to better understand who votes, their motivations, and more importantly who is not engaging with our election process.
We must also consider the trajectories of those who do get nominated onto committees, and the weight of carrying representation in small numbers. For example, changes at Executive Committee make-up in recent years have been due to members seeking to return to focussing on their own musical work, activism or stepping down from committees because they have gained employment within the Union.
We are proud that our current Executive Committee is 50/50 gender balance, but more work is needed to improve the representation of women from the Global Majority and the MU remains committed to that work.
What we’re doing to improve diversity in our committees
To increase representation, we have funded a bursary on the Music Leaders Network, specifically targeted at a female member from the Global Majority and a bursary for a disabled female member.
We are also funding members to take part in the TUC Midlands Black Activist Development Programme that will support and enable participants to develop the knowledge, skills and networks they need to become active or progress within the MU and the trade union movement.
We have run numerous, targeted sessions with the MU Equality Member Networks to support and encourage nominations to all of our committees, including our Executive Committee, and will continue to engage with the networks and work with them to remove any barriers to diversity that we identify.
The MU has reserved seats on our Section Committees to ensure diverse representation, and we are seeking legal advice on rule changes that could mean a change to the elections for the Executive Committee, to ensure better representation of under-represented groups.
In addition to the work to ensure our committees are representative, the MU is also in the process of reviewing our recruitment procedures to ensure that our staff are reflective of the areas that we work in and of our membership.
Find out more about the MU’s Committees.
Members’ Voice: Why I’d Love to See the MU Education Committee Become Even More Diverse
Musician, activist, educator and MU Member Yvonne Wyroslawska writes about her experience as Vice Chair of the MU’s Education Section Committee, and why she thinks it’s important that our committees are representative of our members.
Read the full story