You are now in the main content area

Enablers and Barriers to Success in Canada’s Music Industry

Canada | 2023

Canada's music industry faces significant challenges in achieving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for equity-deserving groups. A joint study by the Diversity Institute and Music Canada examined these barriers and enablers to success. The study surveyed 624 people working in the Canadian music industry; here is a snapshot of some key findings:

  • Black and racialized people face discrimination, with 66% of Black respondents and 91% of other racialized individuals reporting unfair treatment. The majority (79%) also felt isolated as the only person of their colour in the room, and many (65%) experienced exclusion from networking opportunities.
  • Gender disparities persist, as 68% of women and non-binary individuals encountered gender-based discrimination, compared to 9% of men. Non-binary respondents had a higher likelihood of earning $20,000 or less annually (47%), while men had the highest income, with 17% earning over $100,000 per year.
  • Sexual orientation discrimination affected 43% of individuals identifying as 2SLGBTQ+, while only 4% of heterosexual respondents reported similar experiences.
  • People with disabilities faced challenges, with 34% experiencing discrimination and 45% lacking workplace accommodations that met their needs.
  • Indigenous respondents encountered discrimination (45%) and exclusion from networking opportunities (51%), and perceived insufficient commitment to diversity and inclusion from employers (31%).
  • Age discrimination affected 38% of respondents aged 45 and older, and individuals under 25 were more likely to earn $20,000 or less per year (43.6%).

These findings underscore the pervasive barriers experienced by marginalized groups, limiting their access to opportunities and hindering their success in the music industry. The report emphasizes the importance of concrete actions, transparency and accountability in promoting EDI. Recommendations include integrating EDI principles into leadership, strategy, governance, human resources, data collection, organizational culture, policies and communications.

Read the report for more findings and to learn how implementing these recommendations would create a more inclusive, diverse and equitable music industry that benefits individuals and the sector as a whole, and contributes to the Canadian economy.


May 2023


Enablers and Barriers to Success in Canada’s Music Industry