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The impact of COVID-19 on diversity in the creative industries

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As part of our research agenda on the industry‚Äôs response to COVID-19, we partnered with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity to consult Industry Champions and APPG partners on the impact of the pandemic on diversity in their organisations and sectors. 

Our Industry Champions are trusted and respected practitioners, drawn from all parts of the creative industries and from across the UK. They have deep knowledge of industry practice and a desire to inform academic research that leads to better policies for the creative industries. Panelists came from a wide range of sectors including tech, performing arts, publishing, music, film, architecture, dance and visual arts. 

With the APPG for Creative Diversity, we convened a virtual panel on 29 October which brought together some of the Industry Champions and APPG partners to address four questions:

  • What has been the impact of COVID-19 on workforce diversity in the creative industries
  • What can we learn from this experience to better prepare for future crises (including an economic recession and a second wave) 
  • How can this learning inform recovery?
  • What could the government and industry do to support creative diversity?

The purpose of the meeting was for industry experts to share their experiences of how diversity in the creative industries has been impacted by the pandemic in the short term, and their concerns of what this might mean in the medium and long term. The panel discussion was incredibly broad and topics covered included the impact on the talent pipeline, employer responsibility, working conditions and redundancies, programmes vs systemic change, freelancers, the impact of Black Lives Matter, funding and investment, and the impact of the pandemic on disabled creatives, carers and older people. 

This briefing outlines the key points discussed by the panel. In addition to spelling out implications for industry, there are also insights for devolved and central government as well as funding bodies.

Published 2nd December 2020

Image by Anna Shvets 

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