Diversity and Inclusion Policy
Art History Link-Up (“AHLU”) was established on the belief that all young people should have access to art history, and to visual culture more generally, regardless of background. Diversity and inclusion are therefore at the very heart of what we do, and we believe that all organisations, particularly in traditionally restricted sectors like art history, gain greatly from the contributions and challenges different voices make. It’s important that these issues are transparent and formalised, and this Diversity and Inclusion policy (the “Policy”) sets out the following commitments by AHLU as to how it will ensure that diversity and inclusion is championed throughout its management and operations.
2. WHY IS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IMPORTANT TO AHLU?
The Equality Act 2010 protects 9 characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. It’s AHLU’s legal obligation not to discriminate on the basis of these characteristics, and we take that obligation very seriously.
More widely though, we believe that it’s critical that AHLU attracts voices from diverse backgrounds, and that individuals’ unique perspectives are shaped by characteristics and experiences even wider than those set out within the Equality Act. Our mission is to bring art history to young people regardless of background, and we seek similarly attract trustees, staff and volunteers with broad backgrounds who can champion (and challenge) the charity.
AHLU believes that as a gateway for involvement in the charity, recruitment is a critical part of ensuring a diverse and inclusive board and staff body. Full details of the steps we take to ensure we attract the brightest and broadest set of candidates are set out in full within the Recruitment Policy [URL to be linked].
Lack of accessibility can prevent individuals from being properly involved in the charity’s work, or even from considering becoming involved in the first place. Although accessibility is typically thought of within the framework of accessibility, in reality it is much wider. Ensuring true accessibility means making sure that those who are restricted for any reason, be that physical or mental illness or caring commitments, are able to participate. As a result, we believe that ensuring accessibility is an important part of our wider commitment to diversity and inclusion, and will accommodate requests to support increased accessibility where possible on that basis.
At the board level, all trustees must always be capable of attending all of the board’s activities, and in particular board meetings, and the board will monitor any access requirements to meet the needs of trustees or potential trustees.
Amongst staff, the charity will ensure that all events and meetings are made accessible to all staff. Note that as AHLU works closely with certain institutions in delivering its programmes, we depend on those institutions to ensure their own accessibility obligations are met.
In all cases AHLU will ensure reasonable adjustments are made where required in compliance with its legal obligations.
5. BOARD COMMITMENTS
The board is responsible for safeguarding AHLU’s values, including its commitment to diversity. In addition, trustees have a legal obligation to ensure that the board collectively has the right skills and experience in place, a function of which is diversity. Finally, the board voluntarily observes the Charity Governance Code, which sets out good governance for charities, and makes explicit provision for the promotion of diversity within charity management.
In order to satisfy the above responsibilities, and above the recruitment commitments set out in the Recruitment Policy [URL to be linked], the board will periodically take part in appropriate training to promote the equal treatment of trustees and staff and challenge its own views.
Each AHLU trustee signs a code of conduct on joining the board (the “Code of Conduct”), setting out commitments on how they will act in the role of trustee. Amongst these are requirements to work considerately and respectfully with all, respecting diversity, different roles, and boundaries. AHLU considers these obligations to be fundamental to the role of trustee, and will not tolerate behaviour which goes against the Code of Conduct, or the spirit in which it is written.
AHLU promotes diverse perspectives on art history, for example through championing postcolonial or queer readings, subject to working within the confines of the curriculum.
Any commitment to diversity and inclusion will only be effective when it fully embedded and respected within an organisation. To ensure that diversity and inclusion are not simply empty words, a formal process for reporting discriminatory or unfair treatment is set out within our Whistleblowing Policy [URL to be linked].
Any report of discriminatory or unfair treatment will be immediately shared with AHLU’s board for resolution, who will take prompt steps to investigate the complaint; prevent any further unacceptable behaviour; and ensure the safety of victims concerned.
8. STATUS OF THE POLICY
AHLU may update or amend this Policy at any time. The Trustees and the Advisory Board will review this Policy annually.