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UK Music Reveals Findings Of 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey in New Report

The report findings show significant improvements in the areas of gender and ethnicity, but also highlights areas where more progress is needed, such as breaking down barriers for people from working class backgrounds.

Published: 19 June 2024 | 4:22 PM
Silhouette of two sound engineers, in front of empty stage at a mixing desk.
"More intersectional work to break down the barriers for people from working class backgrounds should be a priority for the industry". Image credit: Shutterstock.

UK Music, of which the MU is a member, has today unveiled the findings of its 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey, which gives a revealing snapshot of those working behind the scenes in the UK music industry.

A total of 2,874 people from across the industry responded to the UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey, carried out between January 17 and March 31, 2024. The findings are published now in the UK Music Diversity Report 2024.

The survey has focused on the music industry workforce (and not the creator community) since its inception in 2016, because it was felt that this was a less visible but influential area that was not being monitored.

Ahead of the general election on July 4, the UK Music Diversity Report 2024 also outlines the key asks from the sector of the next Government to boost equity, diversity and inclusion.

Key findings

An overview of key findings of the 2024 UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey include:

  • In 2024, women are well represented in the 25-34 age category (58.6%) but in the 45-54 age category (46.6%) and 55-64 (39.2%) female representation starts to drop.
  • The number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse respondents aged 16-24 rose substantially from 23.2% in 2022 to 40.6% in 2024. There are a number of initiatives across the music industry to improve access for ethnically diverse young people and this rise suggests they are working.
  • In entry-level positions, the number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse employees rose from 23.6% in 2022 to 32.5% in 2024.
  • The percentage of people responding to the survey who reported a disability, neurodiversity or a long-term health condition rose from 14.9% in 2022 to 25.1% in 2024. However, it should be noted the 2024 survey asked about disability and neurodiversity in a single question, while the 2022 and 2020 surveys asked about them in two separate questions, and so this is the likely reason for the significant change this year.
  • In line with standard government metrics on socio-economic classification, the survey asked respondents; "What was the occupation of your main household earner when you were about aged 14?". Findings suggested that 56.1% came from professional backgrounds. The next largest group came from working-class backgrounds (20.9%), followed by those from intermediate backgrounds (14.8%).

Protected characteristics

For the first time, the 2024 report used statistics from all nine groups from the Equality Act 2010. While ethnicity, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, carer responsibilities (as an alternative for the protected characteristic, pregnancy) and gender reassignment have been featured in the report before, faith and marital status were featured for the first time.

The findings revealed that of the people surveyed:

  • 17.9% were LGBTQIA+
  • 1.7% identified as transgender
  • 25.2% had caring responsibilities for a child or children under 18
  • 47.7% did not have a faith.

UK Music and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce plan to consider these findings in more detail this Autumn.

View the full UK Music Diversity Report 2024.

Manifesto for Music

The 2024 Diversity Report concludes with a call to support the wider diversity asks in UK Music’s Manifesto for Music.

The manifesto urges the next Government to develop a comprehensive, medium to long-term music strategy for growth. A forward-thinking roadmap, formulated by policymakers and industry, will drive growth and success through this crucial period.

The report has four asks to Government to boost equity, diversity and inclusion:

  1. Extend the limitation period for discrimination or harassment claims under the Equality Act 2010 from three months to six months.
  2. Mandate reporting of ethnicity and disability pay gap data while reducing the threshold to include companies with over 50 employees.
  3. Commission an independent review into how the Metropolitan Police and local authorities react and respond to Black music events.
  4. Review the impact of Access to Work on those working in the music industry with a view to ensuring claimants receive support within four weeks.

Learn more about UK Music and the Manifesto for Music.

The MU looks forward to continuing our work with UK Music 

John Shortell, MU Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said: “The UK Music Workforce Diversity Survey gives us the insights we need to track how the interventions we make as an industry to improve diversity are having an impact. It’s fantastic to see the ongoing progress that the music industry is making.

“This report also highlights the areas where the industry needs to do more work to improve diversity. More intersectional work to break down the barriers for people from working class backgrounds should be a priority for the industry.

"The MU looks forward to continuing our work with UK Music and the Diversity Taskforce to ensure that the industry is an inclusive place to work.”

Join the MU's work for equality in music

Be sure your voice is heard - and help make the music industry a better place for every musician. At the MU we stand for equal opportunities and inclusion for musicians, and aim for the industry to be more diverse and representative.

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