Lack of diversity in the creative industries limiting organisations’ growth

Lack of diversity in the creative industries is limiting organisations’ growth, according to a report by the Creative Industries Federation in partnership with MOBO

“This study not only exposes social inequalities in the creative industries’ workforces but also shows that there are hard-headed economic reasons for tackling them,” said John Kampfner, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation. “A more diverse workforce is good for organisations and key to accelerating growth.

“The most forward-looking businesses have already acted to ensure their staff more accurately reflect the population.”

The Creative Diversity report revealed that there has been a 12.5% increase in the number of jobs in the creative industries held by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people between 2013 and 2014. They now account for 11% of workers in the sector, which is the same as the general working population of the UK.

However, the results show a lack of diversity when broken down by location. A third (32%) of creative jobs are based in London, where 40% of the population belongs to a BAME group. In order to truly represent the population the number of BAME people working in the creative industries should be closer to 17.8%.

Issues also surround gender diversity. The percentage of women in the creative industries fell from 37.1% in 2013 to 36.7% in 2014, despite women holding 47.2% of jobs in the wider UK workforce. This was particularly pronounced in the video games sector, where only 14% of workers were women even though females now play more than half of all games.

Film and television also suffers from a lack of gender diversity. Directors UK, a member of the Creative Industries Federation, found that women directed no sci-fi or fantasy genre drama episodes in 2011 and 2012. The report put this down to gender stereotyping and the risk-averse culture of the industry meaning the same directors were repeatedly used by commissioners.

MOBO recommends advertising on sites likely to be seen by a wide range of applicants, and encouraging teams to recognise unconscious bias in the hiring process.

Kampfner said: “By drawing together case studies and evidence of best practice we show how everyone can act now to make a difference. It is not only a matter of social justice, but crucial to ensuring the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy continues to grow and thrive.”

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