Women In CTRL puts the spotlight back on diversity at the top of the UK music industry’s trade organisations


July 28, 2021

The Women In CTRL organisation has put the spotlight back on the boards of many of the UK music industry’s big organisations to assess the diversity of those influential committees. It’s the second time it’s conducted this study, having first undertaken such a thing this time last year. The conclusion? Things have improved since July 2020, but there is more work to be done.

Women In CTRL says in a statement: “In July 2020, Women In CTRL conducted an analysis of the board make-up of twelve key UK music industry trade organisations, identifying the woeful levels of diversity within these organisations who are responsible for delivering an equitable, diverse and inclusive industry. A year on, Women In CTRL has repeated its analysis, auditing the gender make-up and representation of black women amongst the boards of directors, CEOs, and chairpersons of those same twelve organisations and identifying the progress made”.

The organisations, by the way, are label-centric trade groups the BPI and Association Of Independent Music; the Music Publishers Association; the Music Producers Guild; the Music Venue Trust; the Music Managers Forum; songwriter organisation The Ivors Academy; artist and musician groups FAC and ISM; plus collecting societies PPL and PRS; and the trade body of trade bodies UK Music.

The new study concludes that “female representation has increased, but women are still underrepresented”. Across all twelve organisations, 42% of board members are now women, up from 34% a year ago. Representation of black women has doubled, though the starting point was only 3%. It is now 6%, which equates to eleven board members.

As part of the new study, Women In CTRL has also asked 100 women across the music business to share what it means to them to see diverse boards leading the industry’s trade bodies and collecting societies. You can access all the latest stats and read the input and insights of those 100 music business professionals on the Women In CTRL website here.

Commenting on the new study – and the improvements made over the last year – Women In CTRL founder Nadia Khan said: “I commend those organisations that have taken steps towards real change, and it’s promising to see. But our work is far from done, the stats are still stark, and a far way off true equality”.

“True diversity goes beyond female representation to minority groups, disability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and education”, she added. “Let’s try to fix the system and have real conversations. What is it about the system that doesn’t allow underrepresented groups to reach the top? Why don’t we see more women in chair or CEO positions? Let’s identify the barriers and work together to break them down”.

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