Ayesha Casely-Hayford, 25 January 2015


Ayesha Casely-Hayford

Marissa Beatty

Max Barton

Brian Caspe

Kevin Shen

Rosie Spiegelhalter

Paula Varjack

Alyn Gwyndaf

Lee Simpson

Rachael Williams (later discussion with Ayesha)

The purpose: to explore my idea of introducing a basic level of employment law

education to the arts industry.

Training would be tailored for different sectors e.g. something different for producers,

actors, directors and casting directors.

The training would be creative.

The shape of the training - videos or workshops for example, is undecided.

It was agreed that the project was a good idea.

The issue being addressed: the lack of diversity, the problem of discrimination that

does not get addressed, the people who discriminate intentionally or unintentionally

are rarely held accountable. The further result being that art that is produced does not

reflect the society we live in, isolating artists and audiences.

This project does not aim to resolve the issue. It intends, through education, to

introduce a benchmark. This would begin to fill in holes, to protect decision makers

giving them the tools to explain and justify recruitment decisions they make using their

legal knowledge and to give vulnerable parties the knowledge and confidence to come

forth if they have been discriminated against.

A key factor raised was to to be mindful of (1) not burdening organisations with

paperwork and exasperating time pressures and (2) not making organisations

(particularly small ones) unfairly vulnerable to accusations of discrimination.

This project should empower recruiters and those being recruited in the arts. It should

also not be a mechanism that restricts creativity.

I would like to introduce the project to the industry via Equity. I would use my legal

experience as a solicitor and my legal contacts to devise and facilitate the educational


There was a discussion about who to contact in respect of trial and research for the

project content and organisations such as the BBC and The National were suggested

as they have producers, directors etc within them.

Discussion was also had about the state of the industry generally in respect of

diversity, our views of quotas, comparisons with the States, audiences across the

country and the need to serve not just the audience but the public at large as Exhibit B

at The Barbican most recently taught us.

Reference back to past D&D session “What are we really going to do about race and

diversity in the industry” was also made for the purposes of R&D.

I had a chat later with Rachael Williams about what the Arts Council expects at the

moment in respect of diversity and we discussed Diversity Action Plans and reports on

recruitment. It's important to build on and incorporate what is already in place.


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Education, Disability, disability, Equality, Women, diversity, race, workshop, LGBT,

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