Push to boost diversity in music as just 6% of workforce identify as gay

The Government is being urged to be “fast and fearless” in order to “tear down the remaining barriers” and boost inclusion in the music industry after it was found just 6% of workers are gay.

UK Music’s 2024 Workforce Diversity Survey found heterosexual employees made up more than three quarters of the music business’s workforce, with just under 5% of staff identifying as bisexual and 3% saying they are queer.

Transgender employees make up less than 2% of the industry’s workers.

The survey also found there are fewer women in senior roles than in mid and entry level jobs, while less than 40% of employees in the industry aged between 55 and 64 are women.

But the report did note that “positive progress” had seen female senior representation rise from 40.4% in 2020 to the current level of 48.3% in 2024.

The report also said black, Asian and ethnically diverse representation has increased significantly, particularly in the 16 to 24 age group which jumped from 21% in 2021 to 40.6% in 2024.

It said the increase came as a result of a number of initiatives across the music industry to improve access for ethnically diverse young people.

Responding to the results of the survey, UK Music diversity taskforce chairman, Ammo Talwar MBE, said there was still work to be done.

He said: “We have seen steady progress on increasing diversity across the music industry since we launched this survey in 2016, with further significant improvements year on year.

UK Music's diversity taskforce huddled together in a group picture
UK Music’s diversity taskforce as a survey by the organisation found just 6% of music industry employees identify as gay (UK Music/PA)

“That’s down to some of the brilliant initiatives in the sector that are driving change and those organisations that have led the way with integrity and transparency.

“However, there is still loads more to do – and we need the next government to be fast and fearless when it comes to working with us to tear down the remaining barriers.

“The socio-economic data is especially concerning, with figures for those working in the music industry whose parents came from a professional background above the national average. We need to do more to ensure that we’re getting talent from every walk of life.”