A report by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity, an organisation established to identify barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the UK’s creative sector, has outlined recommendations to fast-track the sector’s diversity journey.
According to the report, the most influential roles in the creative economy lack diversity of representation, while the general workforce still fails to “reflect the diversity of the UK population.”
The report also references recent UK creative industry workforce data that found that women, racial minorities, those from a working-class background, people with a disability, and those living outside of London and the South-East “are all significantly underrepresented in the creative and cultural industries.”
With a dearth of diversity throughout the UK’s creative workforce, the industry is not only facing an equality crisis but an innovation problem if firms fail to hire talent with cognitive diversity, different worldviews and socio-cultural perspectives in mind.
As a result of the state of the industry today, the APPG included five points within the new report to help firms on their journey towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
While the report stipulates that these points, known as the “5 A’s”, shouldn’t be seen as a manual to better EDI by themselves, they can act as benchmarks to remind firms why certain aspects of EDI are important, including what they can achieve if applied properly within an organisation.
This means calling for equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion to be “front and centre of all aspects of creative work, addressed at every level of an organisation and be embedded in business, funding, and commissioning plans, and strategic planning.” Ambition can include “a holistic and intersectional approach to EDI led from the top” and an understanding of intersectionality.
Allyship not only “speaks to the need for industry change” but helps ensure interventions succeed in the long term, says the report. Allyship also provides a framework for “ensuring action on diversifying creative workplaces is a space where all voices are heard and an understanding that there is not a one-size-fits-all framework.”
According to the report, accessibility addresses who can work in the creative sector and who has access to the most desirable roles. Making a firm accessible means “creating an environment and working practices that are designed for everyone including those with disabilities, those identifying as LGBTQ+, neurodiverse individuals, and parents and carers, as well as ensuring that being outside London and the South-East is not a barrier to a creative career.”
Adaptability, the report adds, is one of the primary ways to ensure success in EDI. “It’s what ensures that change can happen and acknowledges that current systems favour particular types of people and exclude others.” Adaptability means being able to implement interventions that are effective and produce change that lasts.
Accountability means following through on goals and ensuring an “issue is on everyone’s agenda until it is no longer something people have to fight for.” Importantly, being accountable “encourages the measuring of EDI interventions and sharing of successes,” which also means firms within the creative economy can cross-collaborate by learning from each other and demonstrating what works.
To read ‘the APPG for Creative Diversity’ report in full, please click here.