Music business representative body UK Music has published its latest Diversity Report, which found that while the number of women in the workforce has increased there has been a decrease in the number of employees from ethnically diverse communities.

The music industry survey found 21.04% of individuals working in music identify as Black, Asian or from an ethnically diverse background – down from 22.3% two years ago.

UK Music found that the number of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse respondents aged 25-34 rose from 24.8% in 2020 to 26.3% in 2022, indicating that efforts to improve career progression may be starting to have an effect.

In entry-level positions, the number of Black, Asian and diverse ethnicity employees fell from 34.6% in 2020 to 23.6% in 2022. At a senior level there was a drop from 19.9% in 2020 to 18.3% in 2022.

The report found 14.9% of respondents reported a disability, up from 12.2% in 2020. UK Music said it could indicate that more individuals with a condition are working within the industry or that a greater number of individuals are comfortable disclosing their condition.

Some 67.2% of those who have a disability said they felt they had to compromise their health for work.

The organisation said it has created an action plan with 15 key recommendations to improve diversity across the music industry: “The plan focuses on people, policy, partnerships, purchase and progress and outlines suggested policies drawn both from UK Music’s survey findings and the lived experiences of those from diverse communities via a series of round-table events.”

The 15 recommendations in the plan include cultivating a transparent, safe and consciously inclusive culture for all staff; increasing opportunities for under represented groups; working towards a five-year EDI strategy and vision; incorporating EDI into every part of an organisation or businesses structures; publishing data on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps annually in larger employers; and ensuring there is a strong EDI mindset at the heart of all tendering and procurement processes.

The initiative is being led by UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce (pictured). Its chair Chair Ammo Talwar MBE said, “The drop in the percentage of employees in several sectors of the industry is further evidence of why we must not take our foot off the accelerator when it comes to driving positive changes on diversity and inclusion as swiftly as we can.

“We need to create a consciously inclusive culture right across the music industry and right across the UK. Our hope is that the Five Ps – our Music Industry Action Plan – provides a robust and clear framework that anyone can use to help deliver that change.”