Is your workforce socio-economically diverse?

by | Oct 5, 2021

The Social Mobility Commission, in partnership with businesses from across the creative industries including the British Beauty Council, have developed the ‘Socio-economic Diversity and Inclusion: toolkit for the creative industries’.

According to new research, just 27% of the creative industries workforce comes from a working class background, compared with 39% of the wider UK workforce. The unique structures of the creative industries workforce are cited as driving this imbalance, with factors including the high numbers of ‘professional’ jobs within the sector, an entrenched reliance on freelance workers as well as an abundance of unpaid internships creating additional barriers to entry for those from low socio-economic backgrounds.


Disproportionate numbers of those in senior roles who attended private school or Oxbridge may also have served to perpetuate understandings of cultural ‘fit’ and accepted behavioural codes within the creative industries, presenting an additional barrier to those from low socio-economic backgrounds.


Employers and industry groups from across the creative industries’ sub-sectors have welcomed the toolkit. Those who have contributed or endorsed the toolkit include: British Beauty Council, the BBC, BFI, UK Screen Alliance, Youth Music British Fashion Council, Museums Association, British Institute of Interior Design and the Publishers Association.


Click here to access the toolkit.


“It’s been great to see so many within the industry collaborate on the development of this toolkit. For the whole creative sector to remain vibrant, it is vital that we tap into the full potential of the whole population, not just a privileged few.

The creative industries create the culture of the nation, which in turn necessitates full participation from the entire nation. As organisations adopt the actions set out within this toolkit to make socio-economic inclusion a reality, we will become an industry that is both rich in diverse viewpoints, experiences and stories as well as an industry that is built to last.”

– Farrah Storr, Social Mobility Commissioner and Editor-in-Chief, Elle UK


The Social Mobility Commission is hosting a public launch event on Monday 11 October, to be chaired by Farrah Storr, SMC Commissioner and Editor-in-Chief of Elle and featuring a discussion with industry insiders: Jamie Gill, CEO ROKSANDA and Executive Board, British Fashion Council; Della Hill, Creative Lead at Literature Wales and Emily Jones, Senior Producer at Sage Gateshead. Register for the event at here.

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