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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

FACT is where people, art and technology meet. We strive for greater equality, diversity and inclusion in every aspect of what we do - the audiences we reach, the artistic programme we present, and in our team of staff and trustees.

Alongside this policy, a working group of staff from each department including a member of our Executive Team, a Trustee, and with the support from consultant, Rachel Gnagniko, wrote an action plan. To read the action plan, click here.


1. Context, Purpose and Language

1.1 Legal Framework

1.2 Context

1.3 Policy Purpose and Objectives

1.4 Language

1.5 Glossary

2. Commitment, Duties and Improvement

2.1 FACT’s Commitment

2.2 Continuous Improvement

2.3 FACT’s Organisational Duties

2.4 FACT’s Employee Duties

2.5 Disability Confident Employer Commitments

2.6 Staff Training and Skills Development

2.7 Inclusive Behaviours

2.8 Race Equality Manifesto Pledges

3. Appendices

3.1 Glossary

3.2 FACT’s Organigram

1. Context, Purpose And Language

1.1 Legal Framework

The legal framework for this policy is the Equality Act 2010. FACT Liverpool’s policy is built around the “protected characteristics” mentioned below.

The Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics are:

Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act 2010 harmonises, strengthens and replaces most previous equality legislation. The following legislation is still relevant:

In valuing diversity, FACT is committed to going beyond the legal minimum regarding equality. In order to reflect the full diversity of Liverpool and Merseyside, we have added the following characteristics:

  • SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUND: This is an understanding that there is a link between the income, occupation and educational attainment of a person's parents, and their own ability to access education or employment and achieve their full potential.
  • GENDER IDENTITY: This aims to expand the existing protected characteristics of ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘sex’ to include all gender identities within the gender spectrum, without these being linked to ‘legal gender’, gender assigned at birth or dependent on gender affirmation surgeries.
  • CARE-GIVING / PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES: This aims to expand the existing protected characteristic of ‘pregnancy and maternity’ to recognise parenthood, guardianship and care as genderless responsibilities that extend beyond the duration of pregnancy and period of parental leave.
  • NEURODIVERSITY: This recognises that it is normal, acceptable and desirable for people to have brains that function differently. Neurodiversity can refer to cognitive differences including approaches to thinking and/or learning and alternative ways of processing information. It also includes behavioural traits that can shape a person’s social and communication abilities, which can be defining of their identity.

1.2 Context

As a publicly-funded arts organisation, FACT must meet the regulatory requirements set by the Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council and other statutory funding bodies, as well as ensuring that it provides a workplace and a public space that is open to all. Our ambition is to strengthen our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion to exceed the expectations of our funders. FACT wants to establish our venue and platforms1 as accessible to all, and to ensure that our work is representative of the communities which we serve and the unique diversity of Liverpool.

FACT believes in enriching lives and shaping the future through film, art and creative technology. If we are to do that, we must address our own habits and be willing to change. This policy is a living document, to be regularly revised and updated. It is neither exhaustive nor finished. We have an ongoing commitment to seek out voices less likely to be heard in cultural spaces.

FACT consciously and publicly addresses issues of representation within its artistic programme. This new Equality, Inclusivity and Diversity policy was developed by the staff team in 2021.

FACT is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. As such, we will not sustain or endorse oppressive behaviours with regards to race and other protected characteristics addressed by this policy.

FACT has signed up to the Race Equality Manifesto to drive inclusion and equality in arts and culture, diversify the sector, and speak out against racism. It has been produced collectively by Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC) and Creative Organisations of Liverpool (COoL) to provide a set of principles and a plan for actively promoting greater race equality and diversity through the work we do. This has been developed through a process of internal consultation, inviting external perspectives, and drawing on race equality best practice in the arts.

FACT is a Disability Confident Employer, which is a government scheme supporting employers in ensuring disabled people and those with long term health conditions are able reach their full potential within their organisation. The scheme helps us to do our best to increase our reach when recruiting and giving as many people as possible the opportunity to be a part of our team.

FACT has registered with Able Futures who deliver the work mental health support service, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

FACT cares about diversity in the workplace and sector. We welcome applications to opportunities at FACT from people of all backgrounds and particularly from candidates who have Black, Asian or Global Ethnic Majority heritage, who identify as D/deaf, disabled, LGBTQIA+, and/or who are from lower socio-economic backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal access to everyone, such as reasonable adjustments or assistance through the recruitment process.

1.3 Policy Purpose and Objectives

This policy is intended for FACT’s staff, new and potential recruits, casual staff such as freelancers, project workers or volunteers, and participants in our projects. We will also share these values with our audiences, inviting them to participate in our work towards making FACT an inclusive space for everyone. An overview will be made available on our website, but it can also be viewed in full by any member of the public if requested.

We promote equality, diversity and inclusion in our workforce and programming. We oppose and will strive to eliminate unlawful discrimination of staff, colleagues, collaborators, visitors, or the public. In order to provide a place that is safe and welcoming for all, independently from their identity, background and circumstances, this policy aims to:

  • PROVIDE equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, voluntary, part-time or full-time
  • OPPOSE and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This is in line with the Equality Act 2010 and includes pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other developmental opportunities
  • RECOGNISE the value and diversity of lived experiences and similarly apply the principles of this policy to those who have historically been marginalised (as identified in the ‘protected characteristics’: see 1.1).
  • SUPPORT staff in demonstrating inclusive values and behaviours, as well as inform new staff, contractors, volunteers or any other person working with or for FACT of the support available and the behaviour expected in representing FACT.

1.4 Language

The language we use is essential in helping to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and included. Historically many people have been excluded by language that undermines and ignores them. We will agree on, and regularly review, a shared language that is inclusive, reduces bias and demonstrates respect for people of all backgrounds.

This shared language will be the basis of our internal and external communications, including in style guides, induction packs for new staff etc. The development and revisions to this shared language will form a key part of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan. We aim for this shared language to enable staff and all those working with or for FACT to represent the following principles:

We will use language that puts people first:

  • To avoid reducing people to a single trait, we will refer to the person first, prior to the descriptor. For example, instead of ‘disabled person’ we will use ‘person with a disability’.

We will use gender-neutral language:

  • Many common phrases use gendered nouns that imply the position is inherently male. Instead of ‘mankind’ or ‘chairman’ we will use gender-neutral nouns, ‘humankind’ or ‘chair’.

We will use inclusive and preferred pronouns:

  • When known, we will use a person's preferred pronoun. Using inclusive pronouns such as ‘they’ and ‘their’ helps to identify someone without assuming their gender.

We will avoid the use of homogenising terms like 'BAME’

  • This umbrella term’s origins reflect historical, collaborative, anti-racist organising in the UK. However, as awareness and knowledge develops, it is rendered insufficient to reflect cultural changes. In drawing an equivalence between skin colour, geographic origin and ethnicity, BAME does not provide a better understanding of the complexity of lived experience nor experiences of racism, discrimination or harassment and bullying. Whenever necessary, we will refer to individuals and groups by their specific preferred racial, national or ethnic identity.

We will respect intersectionality

  • We aim to use terms that reflect the diversity of experiences of those who do not identify as white, neurotypical, gender-binary or within traditional gender roles.

FACT encourages the use of inclusive language in all communication. However, under our major funders' current terms, FACT is required to gather a predetermined set of data and use prescribed (sometimes homogenising) terms when reporting. We are committed to working with Arts Council England and other arts organisations in the city towards an agreed, more meaningful set of data and inclusive terms.

To keep up to date with changing language and terms, we will refer to evidence-based guidelines (as illustrated below) and resources for inclusive communication, which includes several strategies to help staff use inclusive language in any type of communication.

Some current examples of these are listed below and will be regularly reviewed and updated by FACT’s team:

1.5. Glossary

Below this policy, as APPENDIX A, is a glossary of terms which may need more explanation in order to provide full understanding and clarity. This is not seen as exhaustive and will be reviewed and updated in line with the policy review.

2. Commitment, Duties and Improvement

In order to create an inclusive work environment, FACT needs to make commitments to those with whom we work and regularly review and improve on these. Both the Executive team of FACT and its wider staff team agree to uphold the values of the organisation and its mission through the following:

2.1 FACT’s Commitment:

  • Encourage an understanding that all staff, as well as their employer, 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.
  • Take complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of our work seriously. Take appropriate action using our grievance, whistleblowing and/or disciplinary procedures. This can include both informal and formal approaches to addressing complaints.
  • Serious behaviour that amounts to gross misconduct could lead to dismissal without notice. Harassment or assault allegations may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter. Harassment, not limited to protected characteristics, may be a criminal offence (Protection from Harassment Act 1997).
  • Make training, development and any opportunities for promotion available to all staff.
  • Establish, monitor and review processes to ensure that decisions about staff are based on merit.
  • Review employment practices to monitor for fairness. We commit to timely review and updates of processes and policies to take into account both changes in the law and best practice guidance.
  • Monitor the make-up of the workforce in terms of age, race, national or ethnic background, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief, socio-economic background, caregiving responsibilities and disability including neurodiversity.
  • Monitor and assess how this policy and plan are working. We will formally review and update them yearly, through our internal working groups and support from external skills and expertise.
  • Share this policy, and any updates within the review periods, with external colleagues and participants, making sure they are aware of its contents and have the opportunity to ask questions

2.2 Continuous Improvement

As an inclusive organisation, we will always aim to improve our diversity and inclusion. Our Board, CEO, Executive team and Senior Management are responsible for overseeing this. They will hold themselves, and all colleagues, accountable for putting this into practice.

  • We will take proactive steps to build an inclusive workplace that is more representative of Liverpool’s diverse communities.
  • We will promote best practices and ensure legal compliance.
  • We will equip our teams with the required skills, knowledge and language and strive to make everything we do inclusive.

2.3 FACT’s Organisational Duties

FACT’s Board, Executive team and Senior Management create and sustain an equal and inclusive workplace by doing the following:

  • Communicate and promote the equal opportunities policy to employees and the community on a regular basis.
  • Safeguard employees and potential employees against discrimination because of protected characteristics.

2.4 FACT’s Employee Duties

FACT’s employees and those with whom we work create and sustain an equal and inclusive workplace by the following:

  • Promote equality and diversity in the workplace, and speak out against disrespectful or discriminatory behaviours.
  • Employees have a duty not to discriminate against any of their colleagues because of their protected characteristics.
  • Employees must uphold this policy and ensure that colleagues are treated with respect and dignity.
  • All employees are under a duty not to engage in any behaviour that could be interpreted as harassment, irrespective of motive.

2.5 Disability Confident Employer Commitments

As a Disability Confident Employer, FACT Liverpool has committed to:

  • ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
  • advertise vacancies and other opportunities through organisations and media aimed particularly at disabled people
  • offer an interview to disabled people who declare they have a disability and who meet the minimum criteria for the job
  • anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required
  • provide disability awareness equality training in our induction process
  • support any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work
  • guide staff to information and advice on mental health support
  • provide an environment that is inclusive and accessible for staff, clients and audiences

2.6 Staff Training and Skills Development

To be as accessible as possible, training will be flexible in terms of timing, location and venue, length of sessions and materials (such as large print). We will actively seek out external trainers who demonstrably understand legislation.

Decisions about training and development will not be made based on gender, gender-identity, neurodiversity, socio-economic background, family or carer status, race, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, age or disability.

All new staff and volunteers will complete Equality and Diversity training and Disability Awareness training, delivered by an external partner as part of their induction process. Further training needs will be discussed as part of Personal Development Review processes.

Training is given to ensure that our equality and diversity policy, and linked procedures, are delivered well. Key training includes:

  • Our approach to equality and diversity and why it is important.
  • The law on equality and discrimination.
  • Staff roles and responsibilities in relation to policies and procedures.
  • The business case for equality and diversity.

2.7 Inclusive Behaviours

To assist us in behaving inclusively and respecting our colleagues, the following behaviours and approaches should be adopted:

  • Use the name someone asks them to use.
  • Not make assumptions based on a person's identity, background, home life, lifestyle, occupation, appearance.
  • Highlight any non-diversity friendly policies or practices within the organisation or that of its partners.
  • Learn about the lived experiences of underrepresented groups, particularly within our own communities.
  • Remain in constant conversation with underrepresented groups within our communities, ensuring we can suggest ways we can welcome and support those groups.
  • Be prepared to make reasonable adjustments for a variety of working methods when working with other FACT staff, or external colleagues

In addition to these Equality, Diversity and Inclusion-related behaviours, there is a wider, general Code of Conduct for all FACT staff that was developed collaboratively through a series of workshops with the entire team.

2.8 Race Equality Manifesto Pledges

As arts and culture organisations in the Liverpool City Region, we stand against racism and racial injustice. Hate and discrimination have no home in the arts or anywhere else.

We are committed to redressing the imbalances that exist in our sector, by creating opportunities for, increasing the positive visibility of, and promoting the inclusion of those who experience racism.

We jointly commit to the seven pledges of this Manifesto, in a dynamic campaign that tailors and scales our organisations’ activities to drive change. Collectively, we will support each other to uphold these pledges.

We will annually: review progress and any barriers; share new understanding; apply and review actions and targets set for each pledge; and actively challenge our organisations to stand against racism and racial injustice.

  • Pledge 1: To create a more racially diverse workforce across all levels of our organisations, including boards, leadership and contracted workers
  • Pledge 2: To be a bold advocate for race equality, sharing best practice and learning around it in the arts and culture sector
  • Pledge 3: To celebrate, support and invest in the talent of individual creatives in the City Region who experience racism
  • Pledge 4: To diversify our audiences
  • Pledge 5: To invest in resources for increasing race equality across our work
  • Pledge 6: To monitor and evaluate these pledges
  • Pledge 7: To build alliances within and beyond the arts and culture sector

Full details of the Liverpool Arts and Culture Race Equality Manifesto can be found here.

3. Appendices


ABLEISM: Practices and dominant attitudes in society that assume there is an ideal body and mind that is better than all others.

AGEISM: A system of beliefs, attitudes, and actions that stereotype and discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.

AGENDER: Individuals who identify as not having a specific gender, or any gender at all. This may include individuals who identify as having a gender but do not feel it can be defined in terms of a male/female spectrum, or at all.

ALLY: Someone who supports a group of people who do not share the same characteristics as their own. Allies acknowledge the disadvantage and oppression of other groups; take action on the behalf of others, and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

BIGENDER: Individuals who identify as bigender experience exactly two distinct genders, either simultaneously or varying between the two. These two could be male and female but could also include any non-binary gender identity as well.

BULLYING: Bullying is repeated behaviour intended to harm, intimidate, humiliate or coerce a person or persons perceived to have less social or physical power. It may be inflicted in many forms such as physically, emotionally, psychologically or even indirectly.

CISGENDER: Individuals whose gender identity and expression line up with their birth-assigned sex.

CODE OF CONDUCT: A set of rules issued by an organisation outlining the acceptable and unacceptable behaviour of staff members.

DISCRIMINATION: The practice of treating individuals differently based on prejudices about perceived characteristics (e.g. age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic class).

DIVERSITY: The practice of including individuals from a wide variety of different backgrounds and identities, such as gender, ethnicity, age, religious beliefs, nationality etc.

DOMINANT CULTURE: The cultural beliefs, values, and traditions that are centred and dominant in society’s structures and practices. Dominant cultural practices are thought of as “normal” and, therefore, preferred and right. As a result, diverse ways of life are often devalued, marginalised, and associated with low cultural capital. Conversely, in a multicultural society, various cultures are celebrated and respected equally.

EQUALITY: When individuals are not experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment due to their individual characteristics.

GENDER IDENTITY: A person’s perception of their gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex.

GENDERQUEER: A general term, similar to non-binary, for people who experience a gender identity or expression other than the conventional male and female binary.

GRIEVANCE: A formal complaint raised by an employee with their employer about their work, the workplace or colleagues.

HARASSMENT: Humiliating, offensive, or threatening behaviour directed at an individual or group. Can include, but is not limited to, discriminatory behaviour covered by law.

HOMOGENISING: The opposite of diversity, this term refers to when something is all the same. An example in the workplace would be if all members of staff were of a single religion or ethnic group with no diversity present.

INCLUSION: A dynamic state of operating in which diversity is leveraged to create a fair, healthy, and high-performing organisation or community. An inclusive environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated, and valued, for who they are and for their contributions toward organisational and societal goals.

INCLUSIVITY: The practice of providing equal access to resources or opportunities to people who might otherwise be excluded, disadvantaged or marginalised from a group.

INTERSECTIONALITY: The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender that can create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. The term was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who used it to describe the experiences of black women – who experience both sexism and racism.

LGBTQIA: Acronym encompassing the diverse groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex and asexual populations and allies/alliances/associations.

MISCONDUCT: Inappropriate behaviour that breaks the law or workplace rules.

NEURODIVERSITY: The idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome.

NONBINARY: Any gender identity that does not conform with the male and female binary.

PRIVILEGE: A right or advantage that only some people have access or availability to because of their social group membership.

PRONOUNS: A preferred gender pronoun is a consciously chosen set of pronouns that allow a person to accurately represent their gender identity. A trans person may begin using a gender-neutral pronoun prior to transitioning, or a non-binary person may choose to use a neutral pronoun.

RACE: Race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Within the Act, race means colour, nationality, citizenship, ethnic origin and national origin.

SOCIAL CLASS: A division in society based on social and financial status and power.

UNCONSCIOUS BIAS: The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.

VICTIMISATION: Focusing unjust or cruel treatment onto an individual or particular group.

Read Our

Action Plan