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UK Music launches plan to keep diversity at the top of the music industry’s agenda post-pandemic

By | Published on Monday 18 May 2020

UK Music

The Chair of UK Music’s cross-sector diversity taskforce Ammo Talwar has called on the music business to ensure that work to improve diversity and inclusion isn’t sidelined as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Back in 2020 BC (‘Before-COVID’), the business case for the industry to get behind a more diverse and inclusive workplace was clear”, writes Talwar. “Our Diversity Taskforce was successfully working with music trade bodies, the government and in Parliament. We put forward clear evidence on both the importance of diversity to the music industry and the contribution of our industry to UK plc”.

“But now in 2020 AD (‘After-Downturn’) the gaze of the industry has shifted as we necessarily focus on sustaining ourselves economically”, he goes on. “We read all the grim statistics; the live sector alone could see £900m disappear from its annual contribution to the UK economy”.

With such grim statistics coming out of the industry every day, he says, “you might wonder if this the time to worry about diversity”. However, he goes on: “I believe our individual and collective responses to COVID-19 have the potential to act as agents of positive change in the UK music business”.

“Positive change can happen and is happening”, he concludes. “As its new chair, I want to see our taskforce working to promote diversity and foster the business resilience, good governance and problem-solving that inclusion can deliver”.

As a result, the UK Music Diversity Taskforce has drawn up a five point plan for keeping diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda, with aims to…

1. Produce a biennial report on the taskforce’s progress towards and the impact of diversity in the music industry.

2. Develop an evidence-based approach to reporting on diversity initiatives, leveraging learning through new partnerships around data.

3. Converse regularly with music business stakeholders to spotlight best practice and industry leadership.

4. Open up the taskforce to fresh voices and perspectives, becoming less London-centric and widening its impact.

5. Dismantle “glass ceilings”, especially at senior management and board levels, in order to retain our best leaders in the music industry.

Next month, the taskforce will launch a major survey into the diversity of the music industry, aiming to build up a clear picture of where we are now and how to get where we want to be.