women in music, music industry diversity

Music industry diversity has been a hot topic in the last decade, with initiatives ranging from an emphasis on merely increasing women headliners to hosting all women festivals to training to improve inclusiveness. While there have been movements to improve the diversity of the music industry overall, there have been little statistics to prove the efficacy of these movements. Until now.

It’s finally time the music industry is starting to see some real increases in diversity, and according to a recent study done by UK Music, music industry diversity has improved significantly in the last year.

UK Music established an annual Music Industry Workforce Diversity Survey in 2016, which surveys 3000 British music industry workers. The study had several significant results on the increase of diversity within the music industry.

Black, Asian, and minority ethnic representation in the UK industry has grown from 15.6% in 2016 to 17.8% in 2018. The percentage of overall women in the industry has grown from 45.3% to 49.1%. More so, in the age demographic 16-24 year-olds, the new statistic for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic representation is at 25.9% for and 65.3% for women. These are significant improvements for music industry diversity, especially in the younger demographic.

Keith Harris, the chair of of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, believes the incremental growth in diversity can be increased, stating “Progress has been slow but steady. We are continuing to keep our focus on ethnicity and sex as the most obvious indicators that things are changing, while remembering that diversity in the industry is about much more than that, with socio-economic background being among the important but often neglected areas which needs attention.”

The results bode well for the future of the music industry, which is seemingly adapting to the demand for equality and inclusion as the industry grows significantly. While the results are in the right direction for the U.K., it’s important to see how much further we can improve worldwide representation for minorities in the music industry.