Commitment to Change
There is no place for racism within the Lyric.
We have been listening, thinking and reflecting on Black Lives Matter: how we can contribute to ending systemic racism and injustice and changing our own organisation for the better. Information shared by staff, former staff and stakeholders has sharpened our awareness that we have much work to do together to be an actively anti-racist organisation.
We’re proud to be an Ally for Change partner with Inc Arts UK. We’re committed to making a positive change for ethnic diversity in the arts and cultural sector through actions from the Unlock toolkit, changing diverse hiring practices, conducting workshops, sharing business strategies and transparency.
This is what we are doing and have done so far:
- We have created an Action Plan for Change. This is only the start of our work and we will provide regular updates. This is being overseen by Rachel O’Riordan (Artistic Director/CEO) reporting to the board. You can read our Action Plan here: Action Plan for Change_070621
- As a team we completed a series of workshops called ‘Lyric Life’ where we shared how we wanted to change and develop our workplace practices including improved internal communication. The actions from these sessions are being implemented and will inform our Action Plan.
- We’ve begun to create a new induction and on-going training programme for all staff to ensure the Lyric’s culture and working environment is anti-racist, open and safe for everyone. This will include ensuring that all staff have safe and clear routes to report racism.
- We worked with Challenge with all staff on intensive race equity training (‘Being Heard’/’Let’s Talk about Race’). The report completed by Challenge is informing the other areas of this work and our Action Plan. All staff have also completed ‘Unconscious Bias training’.
- We are increasing the agency and strategic impact of youth voice at the Lyric. This began in 2020 by inviting all of our current Young Lyric Members to consult, share and audit youth voice within the Lyric and included permanent and casual staff aged under 25. From this a steering group was formed by the young people, who designed our Young Lyric Associate scheme which is now in the recruitment stage. In addition we are recruiting for four Kickstart paid positions across the Lyric to increase the presence of youth voice within our workforce. We have updated our equal opportunities form to better reflect how we capture our data in relation to youth employment. This work is led by our Director of Young Lyric and our ambition is to ensure that young people’s voices are at the heart of Lyric strategy. A summary of our journey so far can be found here
- We have set up a new staff Diversity Development Group, a group which is being developed in consultation with staff and is a space to develop progressive ideas and actions to ensure the Lyric is inclusive for everyone. We are also exploring how to make safer spaces for our Black colleagues.
- We want to develop and implement a new career progression programme for staff from underrepresented groups. We will develop new partnerships to make this happen.
- We will share updates on our website on the development of our action plan and our progress in delivering it, as well as our annual workforce data.
- We have updated diversity and inclusion language used in our job descriptions and included mandatory questions about inclusive practice and anti-racism in our interview questions to all candidates.
- We have introduced a new free 24/7 365 Employee Assistance Programme through Health Assured available to all our staff, casuals and freelancers that offers a complete support network that offers expert advice and counselling.
- We have updated our recruitment policy to ensure the consistent application of inclusive practices in all recruitment for all staff, casuals and freelancers.
- We are in the process of analysing the requirements of a training needs analysis of all staff which will inform the procurement of e-learning courses through ‘ihasco’ training to include mandatory induction courses and ongoing including Equality, diversity and Inclusion for all.
We recognise the urgency and importance of change. We have started this process and are committed to taking the actions we can now, despite our current closure. We know that lasting and meaningful change takes time. This will be a fundamental part of the work we do together as we make our decisions about the future of the Lyric and work towards reopening.
We thank everyone who has shared their experiences and ideas, including staff, board, artists, young people, partners and stakeholders.
This is an active document that we will update to publicly show the work we are doing and still have to do; the updates to this document are as follows:
07 Jul: Updated following confirmation of Ally for Change partnership with Inc Arts UK
07 Jun: Updated with our Action Plan for Change.
27 May: Updated following the introduction of our updated ‘Recruitment Policy’.
27 May: Updated following training needs analysis.
27 May: Name of Diversity Development Group amended from Diversity Taskforce.
13 May: Updated following the introduction of our new ‘EAP Provider’.
04 May: Updated following the start of recruitment of the Kickstart positions and Young Lyric Associate scheme.
22 April: Updated following ‘Unconscious Bias Training’ for all staff
15 Apr: Updated following update of language used in job descriptions
25 Jan: Updated following work on Youth Voice.
25 Jan: Updated with the introduced of new recruitment processes.
25 Jan: Updated following the formation of new staff Diversity Taskforce.
25 Jan: Updated following the conclusion of an external Independent Review.
11 Jan: Updated following the all staff sessions and training with Challenge.
04 Jan: Updated following the completion of internal ‘Lyric Life’ workshops.