Shakespeare’s Globe publishes diversity data and statement of intent

  We are committed to becoming an anti-racist and pro-equality organisation

4 minute read

Action must be taken to dismantle systemic racism. Today, 12 August 2020, in response to the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign, and in a move to understand properly the challenges we face in becoming a truly diverse and anti-racist organisation, we have published data regarding diversity within Shakespeare’s Globe, alongside releasing a statement of intent.

A side view looking at a white wattle and daub theatre, with a blue sky above

Action must be taken to dismantle systemic racism – at Shakespeare’s Globe, we are committed to becoming an anti-racist organisation. Photographer: Jordan Ahmadzadeh.

Diversity data

Following the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign, we are committed to improving our data collection, which will allow for more measurable and reportable outcomes in ensuring accountability for our proposed systemic change.

Throughout our plan for short-term and long-term recovery, we will examine every element of our organisation: our culture, values, processes of recruitment and auditioning, and  create measurable targets in every area applicable.

We also acknowledge the limiting ability of the term BAME to accurately capture inclusion and diversity, and we hope to rectify this for future data releases.

  View our diversity data

A woman sits before a blue background, smiling.

“We can’t tackle racism and inequality unless we first acknowledge that these exist and that they can be perpetuated by systems and ways of working. I’m proud that the Board of the Globe has not only recognised the truth of this, but that it also supports a commitment for the Globe to work to create change right across our systems, and processes. So that even though we are an independent charity, we will take action to attain greater equality in every sphere of what we do as we move toward recovery.”

— Margaret Casely-Hayford, Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe

Statement of Intent

Our statement of intent is our first step towards making much needed, and lasting, change within our organisation. In our statement, we commit to facing and understanding our historic bias and racism, and acknowledge that to be anti-racist is to take positive, conscious and intentional action against racism.

This statement of intent is a precursor to a strategy and a policy. This strategy will be created with colleagues, practitioners and wider stakeholders in recognition that lasting change must be informed by the experience and voices of those most affected by systemic racism and who work with and at the Globe. The experiences of BME colleagues and audiences must be at the heart of much needed change.

To date, we have committed to representing the population of London, and specifically the Borough of Southwark in which we are located, which has been achieved on our stages. We have also worked with Challenge Consultancy regarding recruitment and progression; all our hiring manages have received unconscious bias training; our leadership team have received inclusive leadership training; and in March of this year, some members of our organisation took part in anti-racist theatre training with Nicola Brewer. Our Staff Handbook is also currently being rewritten to clarify behaviour and conduct that will not be tolerated, including consequences and actions taken when these expectations are not met.

  View our statement of intent

A woman stands before the Globe Theatre, smiling.

 “At Shakespeare’s Globe, we take our cause seriously – Shakespeare for all. It is not virtue signalling, nor is it about Shakespeare’s ‘universality’. Shakespeare has for centuries been performed, studied and read primarily through the lens of white excellence. As the custodians of Shakespeare’s most iconic theatres, we have a responsibility to talk honestly about the period from which he emerged and challenge the racist structures that remain by providing greater access to the works and demonstrating how Shakespeare speaks powerfully to our moment.”

— Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Higher Education and Research at Shakespeare’s Globe

We acknowledge we have more work to do – but we are committed to undertake this work in order to create positive change. Throughout our journey towards equality, we will remain transparent with you, our audiences; our staff, practitioners and stakeholders; and all who come through the physical and virtual doors of Shakespeare’s Globe.

A woman sits smiling on a row of wooden benches, her hand tucking her hair behind her ear

“Diversity is not an artistic direction, it is a moral, civil and legal one. No matter how diverse our stages may appear, or our thinking may be, if the systems and the structures that support that work are still inherently oppressive then someone somewhere is suffering whilst someone else benefits. There is no doubt that this work is difficult, complex and deeply challenging, and it must be done and done now. This is the start of a long, vital and collective conversation.”

— Michelle Terry, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe