What Are the Most Diverse Industries in the UK?

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated November 20, 2023

Diversity in the workplace still has a long way to go in the UK. Despite significant progress made over the last few decades, there remain startling employment gaps between ethnic groups and genders. So, what are the most diverse industries?

The topic of diversity in the workplace can be a tricky one to conceptualise. It is such a wide and varied issue that getting a clear picture of what is going on throughout the country right now can be more than tricky. 

In this blog, we want to discuss one particular issue within this wider theme and look at the most diverse industries in the UK. This subtopic helps to give a better idea of the issues and themes taking place as a whole and gives a more visual picture of the current statistics. 

First, we will look at the most diverse industries in the UK right now and then we will also touch on the least diverse industries too. It is always important to know where change needs to take place. 

The Most Diverse Industries in the UK

The most diverse industries in the UK are…

Dentistry and Other Medical Professions

The NHS is one of the most inclusive and diverse employers in the UK. Nearly half of the medical practitioners in the UK are of an ethnic minority. A recent survey also revealed that the NHS workforce is more diverse than ever before, employing more than 300,000 BME staff – the equivalent of 22.4% of all NHS staff in the country. This figure has increased from 18% in 2017.


On a similar note, pharmacy is also one of the most diverse industries in the UK, reaching a position on the top 10 list. Again, the NHS proves to be a diverse employer across a range of individual sectors and industries. 

Legal Professions

Apart from judge positions which are statistically non-diverse both in terms of gender and ethnic identity, the legal professions in general are one of the most diverse industries in the UK. An interesting and unfortunate note is that the industry as a whole would be diverse up until the top positions, which is something we see throughout industries in the UK. Top positions are still dominated by males and white people in the UK. 


Security positions including bouncers, security guards, and premises officers are statistically diverse in the UK. This is both among black and mixed communities. 

Caring and Services

Caring and services is another diverse industry in the UK, with a significantly high proportion of black employees in the industry. There is also a higher number of mixed and  “other” ethnicities within these occupations. 

Other honourable mentions in the category of the most diverse professions in the UK include chefs and taxi drivers. 

The Least Diverse Industries

While looking at what industries are doing well in terms of diversity, it is equally important to look at who isn’t doing so well. 

Currently, the police service, prison service, firefighting service, farming and agriculture, and the armed forces are statistically the least diverse industries in the UK currently. These industries remain dominated by white men and show low levels of diversity in their employment figures. 

There are some other industries that are disappointingly lacking in diversity too, including the world of tech. The tech industry as a whole is less diverse than we might expect it to be, particularly so in terms of gender diversity. There is also, as we have previously touched on, a lack of diversity in the top management and leadership positions in this industry. In fact, in nearly every industry. 

Overall, our figures for diversity across the UK can be very disappointing and do little to reflect the rich diversity of the population of the country. They highlight that there is still lots of work to be done on an evening out the playing field in the world of recruitment and employment and that a lot of discrimination, unconscious bias and exclusion are still taking place in these arenas areas as well. 

What Factors Lead to a Lack of Diversity?

There are multiple factors that can lead to such a lack of diversity in certain industries in the UK. These can include:

  • Exclusive recruitment practices 
  • Bias and discrimination in recruitment decisions
  • Discrimination and harassment in the workplace
  • Socioeconomic differences in different groups throughout life and education

On the flip side, diversity in industries occurs when certain criteria are met. These can include:

  • Inclusive recruitment practices and accessible applications
  • Rooting out unconscious bias in decision-making panels and recruiters
  • Education and awareness increase around diversity for leaders and managers
  • Hard policies are followed around discrimination
  • Positive action is taken 
  • EDI figures are publicly published and acknowledged 
  • EDI strategies are formed and followed 

Increasing diversity in an industry is an active process that requires commitment and hard work from those involved. Until all industries take place part in such processes, real change cannot be seen in diversity figures across the country. This is something all employers and companies should have on their radar. If not, they are part of the problem. 

Where to Find Diverse Jobs in the UK

If you are a diverse job seeker who wants to find your home in a diverse, inclusive and equal job, you have come to the right place. 

At Aspiring to Include, we only work with employers who do want to make a difference in the realms of diversity and inclusion. We partner with diversity-positive employers who are actively providing diversity-positive roles in their diverse and inclusive companies. 

You can use both our directory of inclusive employers and our inclusive job board to find current opportunities that suit you and your skills. Check out the jobs, who is posting them, and what their diversity credentials are. You can also take a peek at reviews left by other people who have experienced these employers so that you can have a full picture of them and their suitability for you as a future employer. 

On top of these tools, you can read through our extensive range of advice and information for job seekers. Including specific support and resources for women, migrants and refugees, those in the BAME community, and many others. 

Anything else you need? Give us a shout.

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Last Updated: Wednesday February 28 2024
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