APPG for Creative Diversity
By Molly-Kate Vickers
On 23 July, Fashion Roundtable were joined by creatives across the sector to celebrate the launch of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity.
The new group, featuring cross-party Parliamentary Members, was founded by Ed Vaizey and colleague Alex Pleasants, in order to identify and tackle obstacles facing diversity in the creative sector.
New figures reveal that Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s sectors are now worth £268 billion. The UK’s roaring creative industries made a record contribution to the economy in 2017, smashing through the £100 billion mark. The value of the UK’s creative industries is now up from £94.8 billion in 2016, to £101.5 billion in 2018, growing at almost twice the rate of the economy since 2010. Studies also showed that the creative industries, which form one of eight DCMS sectors, had experienced the strongest growth in employment figures in the last five years.
In 2018, the number of jobs in the Creative Industries sector stood at just over 2 million, an increase of 1.6% from 2017. The sector accounted for 6.2% of UK jobs in 2018. However the number of jobs in the Creative Industries increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall (10.1%).
Despite the evidence proving the thriving and lucrative nature of the British creative industries, figures also reveal that the sector is not equally as accessible to all.
Ethnicity, religion, class, location, age, gender, disability; all factors which have proven to determine an individual’s opportunity within the creative industries.
On gender, in 2016, 63% of creative job roles were filled by men while only 37% were occupied by women. Whereas in the UK generally, men made up 53% of workers and women 47%. In 2016, BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees made up just 11% of the 32,422 people working in the creative industries – an increase of 5.8 percent on 2015.
Of the nine creative industries sub-sectors surveyed, the design and designer fashion industry saw the largest increase in number of BAME employees, rising by a massive 49.2% between 2015 and 2016. However, this still only makes up 8.7% of the 160,00 people working in design and designer fashion.
Chair and Vice Chairs of the APPG for Creative Diversity, such as Ed Vaizey, Sharon Hodgson, Chi Onwurah and Tracy Brabin, have recognised the lack of diversity currently permeating the creative industries and have set out to change that, stating ultimately that “greater diversity leads to greater creative output”.
MPs were joined by speakers including; Kanya King CEO of the MOBO Awards, Joanna Abeyie CEO of Inclusive Executive Search Business & EDI Consultancy and Eliza Easton Head of Policy at Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC) and Creative Economy Policy at NESTA UK, who all provided informative and in-depth accounts as to why the APPG for Creative Diversity is so imperative in contemporary society.
The launch concluded with a piece of thought-provoking and emotive spoken word by poet, actress and writer Amelia Poamz.
The APPG aims to be a positive, proactive and authentic catalyst for change, desperately needed in an industry which is so evidently London-centric, unrepresentative for BAME, and male dominated.
Due to our personal passion for equality and representation within the creative, and more specifically, fashion industry, we at Fashion Roundtable will ensure to maintain close relations with the APPG for Creative Diversity and attend regular meetings in order to ensure that their aims are solidified and achieved.
For more information, see their Twitter @DiversityAPPG, or sign up to their mailing list here.