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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. Mission, Duties and Improvement

2.1 FACT’s Commitment

2.2 Continuous Improvement

2.3 Duties

2.4 Staff Training and Skills Development

2.5 Inclusive Behaviours

3. Appendices

1. Glossary

2. FACT’s staff Code of Conduct

3. FACT Organigram

4. Supporting policies

1. Context, Purpose And Language


The legal framework for this policy is the Equality Act 2010. FACT’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

In valuing diversity FACT is committed to going beyond the legal minimum regarding equality.

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

  • The Human Rights Act 1998

  • The Work and Families Act 2006

For FACT’s policy, 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 education status of a person's parents, and their own ability to access education or employment and achieve their full creative or professional potential.
  • GENDER IDENTITY: This aims to include every gender identity within the gender spectrum, without it being linked to ‘legal gender’, gender assigned at birth, or dependent on any gender affirmation surgeries.
  • CARE-GIVING / PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES: This new entry aims to include and recognise parenthood, guardianship, and care as a genderless responsibility. We understand the importance of the duty of care, and it is reflected throughout the policy.
  • NEURODIVERSITY: Cognitive differences, for example: a different approach to thinking and/or learning, alternative ways of processing information, neurodiversity, and the diversity of identity.


As a funded Arts Organisation, FACT is subject to external regulation. We must meet the regulatory requirements set by the Arts Council England (ACE), Liverpool City Council (LCC) and other Funders, as well as ensure that FACT provides a workplace and a public space that is open to all. For its recent work, FACT has been awarded an acknowledgment of it ‘Strong’ activities in ACE’s Creative Case for Diversity (specifically within the Programme, our partners and audiences) as well as offering access to art, creative technology and film.

Our aim is to increase this recognition to the ‘Outstanding’ level, and move beyond the requirements of our funders. FACT wants to ensure our venue and platforms are accessible to all, and fully representative of the communities which we serve, and the unique diversity of Liverpool.

As a leading arts organisation, we can do better. We believe in enriching lives and shaping the future through film, art and creative technology. If we are to do that, we know that we must address our own habits and be willing to change. This policy is neither exhaustive nor finished. We have an ongoing commitment to seeking out voices less likely to be heard in cultural spaces.

Since 2018 FACT has been consciously and publicly addressing issues of representation within its programme. At the beginning of 2020 and after having undergone massive structural and programmatic changes, we started to develop a new Equality, Inclusivity and Diversity policy. During this process, the developing urgency around the Black Lives Matter movement shaped and affected the resulting document, and influenced our programme, use of language and ways of working. FACT has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that we are truly an anti-racist organisation, and as such we will not sustain or endorse oppressive behaviours with regards to this and other protected characteristics addressed by this policy.


This policy has been developed by the FACT team to clarify and uphold the values of the organisation. It is designed to promote equality and diversity in our workplace and public spaces. 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 visitors, inviting them to participate in our work towards making FACT a welcoming 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.


The language we use is essential in helping us 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 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, included in style guides, induction packs for new staff etc. The development and revisions to this shared language will form a key part of our 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. 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 our awareness and knowledge develops, they are rendered insufficient to reflect cultural change. In drawing an equivalence between skin colour, geographic origin and ethnicity, BAME does not provide a better understanding of the complexity of lived experience, as well as experiences of racism, discriminations 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 the Arts Council, 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 include 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:


Below this policy, as APPENDIX A, is a glossary of terms that 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, it is necessary for FACT to make commitments to those with whom we work, and regularly review and improve upon these. Both the Leadership of FACT and its wider staff agree to uphold the values of the organisation and its mission through the following:

  • Strive for equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas.

  • Prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination. We promote dignity and respect for all. We will train all staff members about their rights and responsibilities under this policy.

  • 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 and/or disciplinary procedures..

  • 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.

  • Ensure that decisions about staff are based on merit.

  • Review employment practices to ensure 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, sex, race, national or ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, socio-economic background, care giving 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.


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 practice and ensure legal compliance.

  • We will equip our teams with the required skills, knowledge and language so that everything we do is inclusive.


FACT’s Board, Leadership 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.


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.


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 ensure that any external trainers 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 the online Equality and Diversity training via The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). Further training needs will be discussed as part of a Personal Development Review process.

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


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 EDI-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. This is available as APPENDIX B at the end of this document.

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 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 organization 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 fit 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.




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Action Plan