Diversity & Inclusion

A person stands in front of a gallery looking at two suspended black and white pictures suspended by pegs from cables.


Diversity and inclusion are core values and objectives of Without Walls at all levels of our organisation and across all our programme. This Strategy draws together our commitment to equalities and access but also our pro-active response to the Arts Council of England’s Creative Case for Diversity.

Without Walls’ Board of Directors, lead on the network’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and monitor progress. The Board ensures that equality and diversity are embedded in our governance and management. The Artistic Directorate of Without Walls has delegated responsibility for curating an artistic programme within agreed artistic policy and diversity targets. All partners are responsible for contributing to the Creative Case.

Without Walls monitors the implementation and effectiveness of this Strategy on an ongoing basis. This takes the form of commissioning internal and independent reviews and collating data. We monitor the allocation of funds, number of companies supported and proportion of programme in response to diversity targets. Statistics, including an overview of the profiles of artists applying to Without Walls, are presented to the Board as part of artistic updates and this Strategy and Action Plan is reviewed on an annual basis.

Our Policies

Equalities Statement

Without Walls abides by the Equalities Act 2010 and is committed to ensuring that its activities, governance and management practices do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any individual on grounds of the protected characteristics set out in the Act:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Without Walls additionality recognises that discrimination can exist because of a person’s employment status, health status, caring responsibilities, unrelated criminal convictions, and socio-economic status and identity.

Without Walls strives to combat all forms of discrimination and recognises that every individual has the right to equal treatment, equal respect and equal access to its activities and employment opportunities. In this Without Walls acknowledges the existence of unconscious bias and seeks to mitigate its effect through training and selection protocols.

If any such person believes that their rights as set out in this Statement have not been adhered to, then they have the right to complain by contacting Without Walls’ Director as appropriate. Beyond their resolution, any such complaints will be reported to the Board of Directors.

Without Walls works in partnership with a wide range of organisations. Each partner organisation is required to adhere to Without Walls’ Equalities Statement regarding any activities undertaken or services delivered in partnership with Without Walls. If any service is contracted out to another organisation as part of the delivery of Without Walls’ activities, the organisation will be required to demonstrate that it has its own Equalities Statement, policy, or to agree to act in accordance with Without Walls’.

Dignity at Work

Without Walls is committed to creating an environment where staff, volunteers, colleagues, and artists are treated with dignity and respect, and where bullying and harassment are not tolerated. This statement reflects the network’s approach to ensuring that its activities are free from all forms of prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and bullying.

In support of its values, Without Walls takes a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of behaviour that might violate the dignity of others. Zero tolerance means that we will never tolerate, condone, or ignore bullying, harassment or hate crime of any kind.

We recognise that these behaviours can take many forms. They may be carried out face-to-face or through electronic media (cyber bullying); they may be subtle or overt abuses of power. Everyone have a collective responsibility to encourage a culture of dignity and respect; to treat others fairly, with courtesy and consideration; and to always challenge inappropriate behaviour when it is safe to do so. Board members and Managers have a particular responsibility to lead by example, identifying inappropriate cultures and behaviours when these occur and taking prompt action to stop or prevent them.

Any allegation of harassment, hate crime, bullying or victimisation will be treated seriously, regardless of the seniority of those involved, and anyone found to have behaved unacceptably may be the subject of disciplinary action. We will use our Grievance and Disciplinary Policies to address Dignity at Work issues and these are detailed in the Without Walls staff handbook. Our Board work to a Code of Conduct policy both of which are available on request.

Access commitment

Without Walls strives to ensure full accessibility for all its activities and services. Accessible spaces are used for meetings and in response to need additional facilities such as access to interpreters are provided.

The timing of meetings, events and activities are considered in relation to the potential attendees to ensure that people with family, care or other commitments are not disadvantaged. We have a Travel and Expenses policy and consider providing travel costs wherever possible.

In communications, Without Walls strives to ensure that any printed publicity is fully accessible in its presentation with alternative formats available on request. Where relevant, access details i.e. transport, ramped access, parking, toilets, and interpreters are included in the information provided.

The Without Walls website is reviewed to ensure it demonstrates best practice in access. The documentation related to open call process can be provided in different formats (e.g. large-scale, dyslexia-friendly) and Without Walls actively ensures that artists are aware of the support available.

Creative Case statement

Without Walls fully supports the Arts Council of England’s Creative Case for Diversity based on the principle that diversity and equality are crucial to the arts and culture because they release the true potential of our nation’s artistic and cultural talent. That our diverse nation offers unique opportunities for artistic and cultural collaborations and innovation.

Without Walls embraces its leadership role with regard to the Creative Case and, working with its festival partners, strives to ensure that its artistic programme is populated by work of the highest quality from artists of diverse backgrounds and is as fully accessible as possible to all members of the public in the varied communities in which the work is presented.

A learning culture

Without Walls acknowledges that not every action will succeed, and that strategy may need to be adapted or changed to meet the desired outcomes. Actions detailed in this plan may not take place if learning suggests a more effective course of action. Terminology may be revised considering better understanding and new vocabulary coming to the fore. Positive progress and successful actions will be embedded to become standard practice and any opportunities to upscale, repeat or disseminate effective practice will be taken.

Training will be offered whenever relevant and feasible to Board and Directorate members in equalities issues. Members with expertise or experience of equalities issues, practices and policies will be encouraged and enabled to share this expertise/experience through both informal and formal training opportunities with others. New voices, different structures and external expertise will be utilised where needed.

Without Walls will also use to good effect it’s reciprocal relationship with member organisations. Learning from their Diversity and Inclusion activity whilst simultaneously supporting them to further their work in this area.

For further information on our strategy and accompanying action plan please contact [email protected]

Image credits:

Featured image – Peaceophobia, Fuel Theatre and Common Wealth at Greewich+Docklands International Festival, © David Levene.