Creative industries employment census reveals increase in women in workforce, troubling decline in ethnic minorities.

The eighth Creative Skillset Employment Census reveals that employment in the creative media industries has grown in the last three years. More women are represented than three years ago, but ethnic minorities are significantly less represented.

The film industry, in particular, is worryingly lacking in ethnic diversity, with BAME (black, asian and minority ethnic people) representation declining in all three of the film sub-sectors of production, distribution and exhibition between 2009-12.

The Census saw 832 respondent companies across television, film, interactive media, radio, facilities, animation, corporate production, libraries and archive, computer games and VFX but it excludes the legion of freelancers who were not working on the Census Day of July 4, 2012.

Total employment in the creative media industries has grown by more than 4,000, representing a 2% increase in employment across the industries, driven by the growth in terrestrial broadcast, interactive media, facilities, animation, games publishing and games development support.

Total employment in the industries as covered in the Census, is estimated at 192,200 - an increase from 188,150 in 2009. 24% of the workforce is freelance, which is the same as 2009.

The sub-sectors which lost jobs include radio, studios and equipment hire, film production, commercial production and pop promos and computer games development.

Women and BAME

The number of women in the workforce has significantly increased, reversing the previous decline seen between 2006-2009.

Representation of women has increased from 53,750 in 2009 to 69,590 in 2012. Women represented 36% of the total workforce in 2012 compared to 27% in 2009.

However, representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people declined from 7.4% of the total workforce in 2006 to 6.7% in 2009 and is now just 5.4% in 2012.

Overall, the proportion of the workforce described by their employers as disabled has remained the same since 2006, at 1.0%.

As in previous years, representation of women is highest in certain occupations: in particular make-up and hairdressing (81%) and costume and wardrobe (73%). Women also make up over half (56%) of the legal workforce, distribution, sales and marketing (55%), business management (52%) and broadcast management (51%) but less than half in every other occupational group.

Representation of people from a BAME background also differs considerably between sectors, being highest in commercials production, independent radio, cable and satellite and terrestrial broadcast and lowest in special physical effects, VFX, corporate production and studios and equipment hire.

There are also major variations in BAME representation by occupational group. The highest proportion being employed in legal, content development, technical development and libraries and archives and lowest in servicing, manufacture, transport, audio/sound/music, lighting, animators and engineering and transmission.

London and the East Midlands have the highest representation of BAME workers, and North East England and Wales the lowest.

Women and BAME in Film

Permanent UK film employment for 2012, excluding production freelancers, was estimated at 20,000.

Overall, women in film make up 46% (9,270 individuals) of the total workforce compared to 36% of the creative media industries.

Employees and freelancers from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority background represent 4.4% (891 individuals) of the total workforce in 2012 compared to 5.4% of the creative media industries.

BAME representation declined in all three of the film sub-sectors of production, distribution and exhibition between 2009-12. BAME representation in film production dropped from 12% in 2009 to 5.3% in 2012.

According to the extensive 2011 UK Census, 14.3% of the UK’s population are from non-white ethnic backgrounds.