Equality, Representation & Inclusion Policy

Our objectives

Bow Arts is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, tackling discrimination and welcoming and valuing the diversity of the communities we serve. This policy highlights compliance with anti- discriminatory legislation and regulatory requirements and our ongoing commitment to equality, representation and inclusion. It also acts as a framework for promoting and adopting best practice and delivering continuous improvement.

We believe that excellent customer service means providing a service that is accessible and desirable to all, that the promotion of equality, representation and inclusion is essential to our core business and that a diverse customer and staff base requires us to value those differences. Bow Arts recognises that certain people face discrimination based on ‘protected characteristics’ as identified in the Equality Act 2010 including race (colour, nationality and ethnic or national origin), religious and political beliefs, gender, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, age, marital or partnership status and pregnancy or maternity with the addition of socio-economic background With this in mind, we will drive commitment to equality, representation and inclusion in service delivery by providing accessible and customer focused services, improved understanding of the customer journey, build capacity to refer customers to other services and increase methods of communication to meet our customer needs.

All trustees, employees, volunteers, customers, contractors, consultants and suppliers will be made aware of our policy and are required to adhere to it. The policy will be applied to all areas of the business including:

  • The letting of studio space and the provision of all associated services
  • The provision of arts learning programmes
  • The recruitment and employment of staff and the recruitment and appointment of Board Members
  • Appointment of consultants, contractors and partners
  • The selection of artists for exhibitions, commissions and public programmes

The policy offers the opportunity to:

  • Combat prejudice, stereotyping and harassment.
  • Improve approaches to customer care by ensuring that our services reflect the diversity of the local community and are responsive to the different needs of groups and individuals; and
  • Develop and use partnerships with staff, customers and outside agencies to develop and improve community cohesion.

The Bow Arts Equality, representation and inclusion Action Plan sits alongside this policy and aims to put into place effective practical measures to comply with the aims set out in this policy.

The policy will be made publicly available on the Bow Arts Website.

Policy statement

Bow Arts is committed to compliance with relevant equality legislation, the Equality Act 2010,
Codes of Practice and best practice guidance. As such, Bow Arts will:

  • Encourage equality, representation and inclusion in the workplace;
  • Treat all people appropriately according to their individual needs and requirements in order to achieve equality of outcomes irrespective of protected characteristics, economic status/background or any other factor;
  • Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all.
  • Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, artists, beneficiaries, clients, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of Bow Arts’ activities. Any such complaints against an employee will be dealt with as misconduct under the Bow Arts grievance and disciplinary procedures as set out in the Bow Arts staff handbook and any appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
  • Encourage individuals from all backgroundsto apply to us for employment. We value the differences amongst our staff and aim to use their differences in a positive way towards meeting our objectives. We will make decisions concerning staff based on merit, apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act.
  • Ensure that equality of opportunity underpins all our procedures, policies and work practices. This will be supported by the equality, representation and inclusion action plan and equality, representation and inclusion training.
  • Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
  • Create a working environment where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality policy.
  • Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness and also update them, and this policy, to take account of changes in the law.
  • Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and socio-economic background in encouraging equality, representation and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in this policy. Monitoring will also include assessing how this policy and the Bow Arts Equality, representation and inclusion Action Plan are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
  • Make opportunities to engage with Bow Arts more accessible by making more transparent to the user. i.e. make public the processes for getting studio, applying for a job, visiting an exhibition

Policy responsibilities

Responsibility for the implementation of this policy is vested with all employees and members of Bow Arts. All members of staff have a contractual obligation to uphold our equality, representation and inclusion objectives and additional accountabilities are placed upon managers and those responsible for recruitment and training to ensure delivery of these equality, representation and inclusion objectives.

Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.

All staff should understand they can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public.

Overall responsibility for the implementation of the policy rests with the Board of Bow Arts who is charged with the responsibility of developing an organisational culture in which the policy can be implemented and effectively operated.

The Board will appoint one of the Trustees as the Equality, representation and inclusion Champion to advocate and support the work of the Staff Equality, representation and inclusion Champion.

Updated August 2023