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13 September 2021

Creative Majority

King’s academics investigate ‘What Works’ to support, encourage and improve equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative sector

An image showing the Creative Majority title

Research from academics in the Department for Culture, Media & Creative Industries,published today,shows WhatWorks to improveequity,diversityand inclusion (EDI) in the UKs creative industries.Creative Majority calls on leaders, creative workers and policy makers to be bold in their efforts to transform the sector.

The Creative Majority report is launched today at the Houses of Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity, co-chaired by Labour MP Chi Onwurah and Baroness Deborah Bull, drawing on evidence submissions from experts across the UK’s creative sector.  

Despite the best of intentions of many working in this sector, and despite consistent evidence that change is needed, the UK’s creative industries remain unrepresentative of the population as a whole, particularly at the most senior levels. Last week, the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (AHRC PEC) demonstrated the class crisis in the arts, with low numbers of working-class origin workers in the creative industries, and significant barriers for women, disabled people, and ethnic minorities.  

Drs Natalie Wreyford and Tamsyn Dent from the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, King’s College London, and Dr Dave O’Brien from The University of Edinburgh have spent the last year finding out what practical actions can be taken to make change happen.  

The APPG for Creative Diversity has brought together academics, policymakers and practitioners from across the creative and cultural sector to share their knowledge and experiences into creating a more equitable and diverse creative workforce. This has been a collaborative and reflective process. We have conducted an extensive review of the literature on employment interventions in other labour markets, and listened to the approaches conducted by organisations and practitioners from within the creative and cultural sectors through the open call for evidence and roundtable discussions. Creative Majority is the result of this collaboration and we are indebted to all who took part. We see it as the start of an ongoing process towards building an equitable creative economy.

Dr Tamsyn Dent, Research Fellow in the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries

The researchers conducted an extensive review of evidenced EDI interventions, across fields as diverse as medicine and management studies. This evidence was considered alongside a series of roundtables hosted by the APPG, with key figures from a range of sectors including fashion, theatre, dance, publishing, music, art, film and television. The results have been distilled into five guiding principles that provide a framework for the report, and recommendations for government, industry and all creative workers.  

Creative Majority infographic

Creative Majority’s guiding principles are ‘The Five As’ of effective EDI: 

  • Ambition – put EDI at the heart of creative business, funding and commissioning plans. 
  • Allyship – create a culture of inclusion where all voices are heard. 
  • Accessibility – ensure creative businesses are welcoming to everyone. 
  • Adaptability – adopt fairer recruitment and working.  
  • Accountability – monitor the effectiveness of EDI interventions and adapt accordingly. 

The policy recommendations offer a challenge to businesses, policymakers, the creative sector, and to society, to work together in leading equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative economy.   

This report extends the on-going conversation about the lack of equity, diversity and inclusion in the UK's creative industries. It builds on existing research that describes the problems and their causes but moves the discussion forward by bringing together evidence of effective practice from a range of academic disciplines and by including the lived experiences of creative sector workers who are actively addressing the issues. The report can be used as a handbook for cultural and creative workers frustrated at the pace of change, and has potential application for other sectors, including higher education.

Dr Natalie Wreyford, Lecturer in the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries

Creative Majority  was sponsored by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and NBCUniversal and supported by King's Culture.

 The Report and Policy Recommendations are available here:

In this story

Tamsyn Dent

Lecturer in Cultural Work

Natalie Wreyford

Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries