Frequently asked questions

What is the Rooney Rule?


The Rooney Rule requires “at least one woman and one underrepresented minority [to] be considered in the slate of candidates for either every open position or every open senior position (the details vary from company to company).” Originally implemented by the National Football League (NFL), and named after Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, the original Rooney Rule sought to increase the opportunities for ethnically diverse people to hold NFL head coaching positions. The results were impressive – diversity in head coaching hires in the NFL increased from 6% to 22% in 2006. You can read more about the Rooney Rule and how it relates to UK law on our 'Inclusion in Practice' page.




Should we look at people’s photos?


Unconscious bias kicks in when we are presented with a candidate’s personal details - we filter according to a range of deeply held beliefs and factors, some of which we are totally unaware of. We recommend that identifiable features are removed as far as is possible from the first stage of recruitment: from application to shortlisting. Do not make staffing decisions based on what a person looks like, or on any other protected characteristic. We recognise that sometimes this is unavoidable - when the work we engage in means that personal details are integral to the appointment (e.g. when an artist centres themselves in their work). We advise that once you have made a candidate shortlist, it can be helpful to have a look at a candidate’s identity, to ensure that when you are interviewing you can meet any target you choose in interviewing diverse candidates. That way you can take action to increase diversity if you need to. At the interview stage, when candidates come into a building, you will see them at their best if they feel expected, and welcome. So reception, anyone greeting candidates and interviewing them should know who and what to expect. A photo can be helpful at this stage but is not the ‘cure all’: identity is a complex thing and ethnicity may not always be determined by a photo. If you choose to shortlist based on ethnicity, the positive action rules that are set out in the Equality Act apply: if a protected characteristic is under-represented in your workplace, you can take positive and active steps to improve diversity in your workforce. The sharing of personal data should be conducted in compliance with an organisation's requirements under the GDPR.




Can we use ‘diverse only’ lists to find people to work with?


In 1993 the UK government introduced legislation that allowed women-only shortlists that in 1997 resulted in a record number of women MPs entering parliament. The 2010 Equality Act has refined it to say that whilst merit MUST be a priority when hiring, taking positive action in advertising your jobs is permitted where a protected characteristic is under-represented in a workplace. The Equality Act 2010 extended the statute around women-only lists (where women are under-represented) so that it will now continue in effect until 2030. Taking positive action in advertising your jobs is permitted in certain circumstances where individuals with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workplace – you should should refer to the EHRC Code of Practice for further details on the circumstances where positive action is permissible. The positive action provisions under the Equality Act 2010 permit a shortlist to be tailored to certain demographics (and specific protected characteristics) if the candidates selected for the shortlist are "as qualified as" the candidates who are not. The diversity of the shortlist should be achieved through measures such as targeted advertising (for example advertising through the networks listed on Inc Arts' Talent Finder) rather than an express policy of shortlisting "diverse" candidates over non-diverse candidates.




How diverse should my team be? What level of diversity is right for my organisation?


It depends on where you are based, but what’s important is the welcome you create to everyone. NE England has an almost 94% white population, London is more than 40% ethnically diverse. A 15% staff target is a good ambition for many who are not near larger, more ethnically diverse areas. When considering what percentages are appropriate for your organisations make sure you can demonstrate and make clear that you are doing this within the Equality Act 2010. Taking positive action is permitted in certain circumstances where individuals with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workplace – you should refer to the EHRC Code of Practice for further details on the circumstances where positive action is permissible. https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk




Can we create ‘diverse only’ training and development opportunities?


Offering enhanced training, support or mentoring opportunities for targeted groups is permissible under the positive action provisions of the Equality Act 2010, as these are considered proportionate actions to meet the legitimate aim of encouraging participation or minimising disadvantage amongst an under-represented group. If you’re creating training and space for ethnically diverse staff, consider the positive action provisions and make clear it is to address under-representation in your workplace - and do so in addition to the work you currently do in providing training and space for others. Taking positive action is permitted in certain circumstances where individuals with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workplace – you should refer to the EHRC Code of Practice for further details on the circumstances where positive action is permissible.




How do I diversify my job ads?


Job analysis tools can spot bias in language - the best approach combines tech and training to spot language bias - the words we use can skew towards a particular gender, for example. More resources here. www.diversitybestpractices.com




I've used a blind recruitment process. How will I know whether my shortlist is diverse?


Your HR lead (or someone else who is not involved in the interview/shortlist process) can check applicants’ details after you have shortlisted- and you can use agencies to add candidates to the shortlisting process.




What is UK ENIC? How do I use it to assess qualifications?


UK ENIC (the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills) provides a practical way of assessing qualifications that you may not be familiar with.
https://www.enic.org.uk/Default.aspx




How can I diversify my workforce with limited budget capacity?


There are many ways - The Albany is an example of a team that decided to reduce the hours of the senior team to increase and diversify the workforce. You can read more on our 'Inclusion in Practice' page.




Anonymous feedback and formal grievances: when should we manage this in-house?


Grievance procedures are formal internal procedures dealt with by managers in accordance with the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary procedures and grievances. We recommend that all managers get to know employment law - or take legal advice when managing a grievance. What’s even better is to be able to create the conditions where concerns are managed BEFORE they become formal grievances. If the size of your organisation means it’s difficult to guarantee anonymity in feedback, then you might consider using a third party to gather feedback on your behalf. This can provide people harmed by racism with the assurance that they will not experience negative treatment as a result of raising a concern. Whilst requests for anonymity should always be dealt with sensitively and respectfully, anonymity will not be necessary for all grievances and can limit the effectiveness of the procedure.




Can I limit the length of time people work with us?


It is illegal to simply remove people from existing roles and advertise the same role without any change in job duties or responsibilities. Employees would have unfair dismissal rights and potentially a discrimination claim if it could not be justified. If you want to take radical action and diversify your workforce in senior roles, you might consider changing job responsibilities, and limiting the length of contract for future post holders of reconfigured jobs. To understand the complexity and potential risks we strongly recommend you taking employment legal advice to make sure you don’t expose your organisation to an employment claim.




What is 360 feedback?


360 Feedback is a process whereby those junior and senior to you, as well as your peers, can feed back their evaluation. This can include performers, contractors or anyone else you interact with professionally.




What is the Social Model of Disability?


From Scope UK: 'The social model of disability is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people.'

'The model says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people's attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can't do certain things.

The social model helps us recognise barriers that make life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers disabled people more independence, choice and control.'

For more information: https://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/social-model-of-disability/




What do you mean by 'sanctions and rewards'?


Normal employment rules and practice on performance management and termination should apply in relation to any consequences for failing to meet targets.




Where can I find diverse networks to share job posts and other opportunities?


Inc Arts UK has collated a list of diverse networks: https://incarts.uk/talent-finder




How do I make my job ads accessible and inclusive?


Shape Arts, Unlimited and Arts Admin have put together a useful Accessible Marketing Guide. While this refers to accessbility in regards to disability access needs, it is also important to think about inclusive marketing. You should also be consulting specialists on this.




Which organisations can support my offer of free counselling for members of my team that experience racism?


Organisations that provide these services and resources include:
Inc Arts Minds in partnership with Chanua Health
Black Minds Matter UK
The Black, African and Asian Therapy network




What is the Inc Arts Charter?


The Inc Arts Charter is a public committment to anti-racism. Sign up to the Inc Arts charter to affirm that you are making practical efforts to support the black and ethnically diverse workforce in the UK. If you would like to sign up to the Inc Arts charter please save, sign, date and email to hello@incarts.uk. https://tinyurl.com/incartscharter




Why shouldn't I use the term BAME?


Throughout August 2020 more than 1,000 people took Inc Arts’ #BAMEOver survey, and on 4th September over 250 people came together to reset the terms of reference for people with lived experience of racism. We set out to answer the question, ‘What do we want to be called?’
Through our discussion we’ve come up with a guide to terminology, for use by everyone who wants to be an effective ally and wants to avoid causing further harm through the use of casual and inaccurate language. We do not want to be grouped into a meaningless, collective term, or reduced to acronyms.

Here are our preferred terms of reference for people in the UK:
We are African Diaspora people
We are South, East, and South East Asian diaspora people.
We are Middle East and North African people.
We are ethnically diverse.
We are people who experience racism.
Use these terms in any order you choose.
Just don't call us BAME. https://incarts.uk/%23bameover-the-statement




What is the 1% challenge?


The 1% challenge is a proposal and a provocation from Inc Arts - That along each budget line in each organisation, a minimum of 1% of the budget line is exclusively dedicated to a diversity intervention – directly addressing ethnicity and disability. Find out more here:




The 2010 Equality Act: What's the law on making my team more ethnically diverse?


For specific information on Diversity and the law, see more questions below. Taking positive action is permitted in certain circumstances where individuals with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workplace – you should refer to the EHRC Code of Practice for further details on the circumstances where positive action is permissible. Offering enhanced training, support or mentoring opportunities for targeted groups is permissible under the positive action provisions of the Equality Act 2010, as these are considered proportionate actions to meet the legitimate aim of encouraging participation or minimising disadvantage amongst an under-represented group. Creating Positive Action plans are advisable, provided the contents of the plan are lawful. Setting targets for increasing participation of a targeted group or groups is permissible under the Equality Act 2010 (see paragraph 12.24 in the EHRC Code). However, please note that it is not permissible to positively discriminate against other employees in order to meet these targets. It is not lawful to hire individuals from targeted groups over better-qualified non-diverse candidates, or remove non-diverse employees from existing roles, in order to meet the minimum diversity target etc. It IS lawful to include protected characteristic as part of the required skillset in hiring (NOT as an essential, YES as a 'desirable' ) where that protected characteristic is under-represented in the workplace and where that knowledge is relevant to the role(s). Further resources can be found here: The FAQs for the Theatre Casting Toolkit on understanding the legal framework around discrimination They are drafted with specific reference to performers but the principles are of general application. The Equality and Human Rights Commission Employment Statutory Code of Practice - pages 159-170 are on general positive action. It is an important and useful document as it is the statutory code of practice and contains helpful examples. Supplement to the Employment Statutory Code of Practice covers positive action in recruitment and promotion as the section in the Equality Act on this type of positive action was not in force when the code of practice was published (pages 7-9) Government Equalities Office “A quick start guide to using positive action in recruitment and promotion” specifically refers to this particular type of positive action.




Where can I find examples of best practice in the sector?


Have a look at our Inclusion in Practice page. This is where we will be sharing best practice on how organisations are taking radical action to make inclusive change. Share your stories with us - and we'll share it with others.