The cultural sector should reflect the make-up of society: black, white, straight, gay, male, female, able-bodied and disabled and many other definitions besides. We are some way away from that ideal.

Many sections of the wider community feel excluded from the industry and on occasions those who are included can face intolerance and bigotry. Whilst it has to be the case that every reasonably sized employer in the sector has an equal opportunities policy, implementation can fall short.

There is a raft of legislation in the UK designed to help us to combat discrimination; guidance on some areas of law is attached to this page.

Perhaps the most useful message to convey here, is that help is generally available in the workplace to address discrimination. Sometimes a quiet chat can resolve the issue. However if a more formal discussion is needed request a copy of the equal opportunities and the grievance policy, and take advice on how to proceed.

There are many useful sources of information and advice (BECTU members should contact their branch or national official) but a good first base would be to visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission site.