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Women surpass 50% representation milestone on music industry trade boards, new ‘Seat at the Table’ report finds

The trade organisations included in the Women in CTRL report have achieved the gender and ethnicity targets set out in the UK Music 10 Point Plan

Women in CTRL calls for a new membership sign-up for women and non-binary individuals, who are interested in board positions, to continue building on progress

Seat at the Table 2024 report here


In a landmark moment for the UK music industry, today’s launch by Women in CTRL of their 2024 Seat at the Table report marks a pivotal turning point as representation of women on UK music trade association boards has risen to 52%. This reflects substantial progress since the inaugural 2020 report, where women held just 32% of seats.

In a continued commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the music industry, this is the third Seat at the Table 2024 report published by Women in CTRL. The report examines the representation of women in executive teams, including in CEO and Chairperson positions, across the boards of UK Music and the 10 music trade associations that make up the umbrella trade body.

Seat at the Table 2024 is sponsored by UK record labels association the BPI, and highlights improvements across the industry, focusing on the organisations, people and initiatives that have been instrumental in driving meaningful change. By profiling leading women and non-binary individuals who contribute significantly to the industry's landscape, the report aims to showcase their accomplishments, the challenges they had to overcome, and the collective strides made towards a more diverse and equitable future.

Key Findings:

  • 52% of board members across the UK Music trade bodies are women. An increase from 32% in 2020 and 42% in 2021.
  • 16% of board members across the organisations are women from a global majority background. An increase from 3% in 2020 and 7% in 2021.
  • 100% of the organisations featured have increased their gender representation on their boards.
  • Over 55% of organisations have achieved 50% gender representation on their boards.

Additional findings

  • 45% of Chief Executives across the UK Music trade bodies are women, an increase from 20% in 2020 and 2021.
  • 27% of Chairs across the UK Music Trade Bodies are women, an increase from 0% in 2020 and 9% in 2021 (the equivalent of 1 Woman Chair).  18% of Chairs in 2024 are women from a global majority background.
  • Over 50% of executive teams across the organisations are made up of women and non-binary individuals and 14% of which are women from a global majority background.
  • Organisations highlighted in the report for progress include: BPI’s executive team including Jo Twist, Sophie Jones, MJ Olaore and YolanDa Brown as Chair; Naomi Pohl as General Secretary of the Musicians Union; PPL for progress on board diversity and EDI strategy.

Nadia Khan, Women in CTRL Founder, said: 
“Surpassing the 50% representation milestone in the boardroom is a powerful signal of the progress and change resulting from the music industry's recent commitments to inclusivity and diversity.  It demonstrates that concerted efforts lead to tangible change, and I'm proud of the progress we've collectively achieved.  Through this report, we wanted to celebrate the industry leaders and organisations that have been instrumental in driving this progress, spotlighting inspiring women leaders as well as celebrating male advocates who play a vital role in this progress. However, our work is far from over. The call to action in this report echoes loudly –succession planning remains pivotal for our industry's sustained success. Fostering inclusivity at the leadership level not only safeguards progress but also lays the foundation for a future that authentically mirrors the rich diversity of the music industry.”

Seat at the Table 2024 also highlights outstanding advocates who are men – nominated by women leaders within the music industry. These allies are being recognised for their exceptional advocacy, support and contribution to a more equitable and diverse industry. Nominated advocates include: George Garner (Editor-in-Chief, Music Week), Ross O’Watson (Head of Label Relations, Amazon Music), Funk Butcher (Houseology & British Council), Joe Frankland (CEO, PRS Foundation), Kwame Kwaten (Vice Chair, MMF), Brendon Harding (Manager, Sound Mind Audio), and James Ainscough OBE (Chief Executive, Royal Albert Hall).

Participating trade organisations have committed to the UK Music 10 Point Plan, including a goal of achieving 50% gender representation and 30% ethnicity representation within their respective organisations. Emphasising an intersectional analysis, this commitment translates into an expectation that organisations will also strive for a minimum of 15% representation of women from the global majority background. Collectively, the organisations featured in the report have achieved both gender and ethnicity targets.

The recommendation of the report calls upon organisations to think about succession planning and launch a new membership sign-up for women and non-binary individuals interested in board positions. By cultivating a pipeline of talented women and non-binary individuals interested in board roles, organisations ensure a smooth transition and a continuity of leadership that is reflective of changing demographics and societal values.

To commemorate the report's launch, and unveil its findings, Women in CTRL hosted an exclusive event on January 31st at PPL’s Central London offices. The event featured speakers including Dr. Jo Twist OBE (BPI CEO), Nadia Khan (Women in CTRL Founder), Eunice Obianagha (UK Music Head of Diversity), Kate Reilly (PPL Chief Membership & People Officer), YolanDa Brown OBE DL (BPI Chair), Eve Horne (MPG Executive Director) and Roxanne De Bastion (artist and FAC Director).

In a joint comment, CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE and Chair YolanDa Brown OBE DL of record labels association the BPI, which sponsored the Seat at the Table 2024 report, said:

“It’s encouraging to see so many more women in leadership positions across the music industry, including at the BPI, where four out of five of our executive board members are women and over half of our Council representatives are women. This positive change inspires us to keep working for a diverse and truly inclusive musicindustry. It is important that we all do our part to eliminate structural barriers that prevent women and individuals who are non-binary from realising their full potential.

“We support Women in CTRL as they continue to shine a spotlight on the industry and on the important work that is still needed if we are to one day arrive at a point – hopefully sooner rather than later - where balanced representation in our board rooms is consistently achieved.”  

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