Yesterday, Nigel chaired a roundtable meeting the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music, focussing on diversity in the music industry. The session, attended by over 50 artists, creative professionals, and others in the industry, continued and widened a dialogue from a previous round table session in March, on PRS Foundation’s “Women Make Music” program. Joining the panel were representatives from BASCA and UK Music, including the chairman of the UK Music’s diversity taskforce, Keith Harris OBE and Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage MP.
The discussion centred on a workforce diversity survey, conducted by UK Music, and how these results reflected on figures of women and BAME (black and minority ethnic) participants in the music industry. On the surface the results may have suggested that the situation was generally satisfactory, however, deeper investigation, such as looking at the figures in context with ethnic figures in London, show room for improvement in access, promotion, and pay. Overall, it concluded that while there was plenty of enthusiasm for women and BAME individuals to enter the industry, they often struggled to rise up through companies and clinch more senior roles.
However, the group also heard how measures were being put in place, including campaigns, targets, practical support measures (such as provision of creches in the workplace), and that improvements are beginning to happen, taking advantage of a new willingness to make progress on diversity issues. The benefits that diversity in a company, especially a creative industry, can have on its output were highlighted throughout.
A series of questions followed, and the group concluded with a very positive feeling that although diversity figures were not yet ideal, improvement was certainly taking place. Nigel said: “The UK music survey has proved invaluable to us in providing us with comprehensive and figures concerning diversity in the UK music industry- an industry that produces outstanding examples of creative enterprise in UK business. The session today was eye opening and revealed the extent of what needs to be done to get a proper representation of women and BAME in the music industry but I think we all came away with a positive sense that progress is now being made- long may it continue”.