Nadia Khan calls for more diversity within the music industry after publishing the Women In Ctrl report

Rehana Harmony

By Rehana Harmony

Rehana Harmony

22 Jul 2020

Today, the Women In CTRL – a not-for-profit – organisation who’s main objective is to “empower and inspire” women working in the music business; has just published a report investigating the diversity of employees across the boards and teams running the UK music industry’s leading trade bodies.

The report revealed that women are generally under-represented at the top of the pyramid of these organisations, as well as black women being “severely underrepresented” on boards and as staff members.

The report comes as a response to statements released by leading companies and organisations across the music industry who have committed “to do more” to address their diversity issues, especially regarding to race after the Black Out Tuesday event and #TheShowMustBePaused initiative. Both events were created in the midst of the global outcry and Black Lives Matter protests as a result of a string of horrific and unjust murders of black citizens at the hands of police in the US.

Launching the stats, Women In CTRL states: “Many [music industry trade organisations] have released statements calling for diversity and change within the industry, however if these companies are not diverse themselves how can they be taking on the task?”

The study overlooked and reviewed the boards and executive teams of twelve industry bodies including, 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.

From the study conducted it was concluded that:

-Only one of the organisations has a female chair (Music Venue Trust).

-Three have female CEO’s (ISM, MMF and PRS).

-Although the overall bias remains male oriented. Most of the trade bodies investigated have made a conscious effort to increase gender diversity on their board over recent years. 

-When ethnicity was measured, they found there were far less diversity amongst staff. As it found a shocking five out of 185 board members across all organisations were black women.

The Women In CTRL founder Nadia Khan says: “As I’ve progressed through my career in the music industry over the last eighteen years I saw no representation of women or minorities within organisations at the top level and I found it perplexing how white men were making all the decisions as gatekeepers on black music”.

She went on to explain the struggles she faced while “finding a way around every door that was closed for black artists,” in every sector of the industry. “Statements are not enough.” She continues, “If we really want to eradicate inequality in music then all organisations need to take accountability and take concrete action to increase representation of women in leadership roles, and diversity and inclusion within their organisations for minorities, in particular black women who are severely underrepresented”.

To check out the full report click here