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Diversity and the Cultural Leadership Programme

photo of Hilary Carty

Hilary Carty was the Director of the Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP), for 6 years.

Hilary spoke about how important diversity was to CLP.

She spoke at the Sync Thinking event.

This is taken from what she said.

Making diversity important

a cartoon man picks up one piece of the jigsaw from a pile of pieces - it is blue and rest are white

The Cultural Leadership Programme has tried to do things differently - to support people and work with people more.

We have been very clear that diversity is important.

Every organisation says diversity is important, but you can tell if they mean it by what they actually do.

I wanted to make sure that when people looked at who was on our board, they saw that it was diverse.

When people looked at our team, they saw it was diverse.

When they looked at who spoke at events, they saw it was diverse.

I think it's quite simple - when you have power you can make things different. You have to let people see that diversity is important to you in all the decisions you make.

I think that this says more than just having the right policies and paperwork.

Just do it; it makes the difference.

Watching the window

a window, with one side slightly open. Through the window is a blue sky.

In the arts things tend to go backwards, then forewards.

Sometimes diversity is important in one way - everything has a 'diversity' part to it - there are lots of diversity officers and diversity projects.

Other times its important in a different way - diversity is part of everything else - its everyone's job to make diversity important, not one person's job.

We go from one to the other - we don't do both.

For me, it’s like watching a window opening and closing. Just now and then it opens - sometimes it's a little crack, sometimes it's quite a big one.

What I do when I see a window opening, is to jump through it myself, put my hand behind me and grab as many people as possible and yank them through with me.

For me this is so important to do - pull through as many as possible alongside myself.

Both / and

diversity in safe spaces, a box with different sections

We decided to be different at CLP.

We decided to do both - to have diversity as something we did, and also to make it part of what everyone did.

We called this 'both / and' - we wanted to use both ways of working and also any other new approaches that came up.

So we have had projects that are just for * women * Black and minority ethnic people * and disabled people.

These projects have given people safe spaces. Spaces where they can really be themselves.

After being in a safe space, I think you are more ready to go back out into the world. You have rested, you are stronger.

Making a difference

photo of a sign saying make a difference

We think that it has worked.

We have seen so many leaders come through that we just really didn't see before. They are coming through with more confidence, they are coming through with better networks and they are coming through better able to cope with the bad times.

Statistics are important.

We had a breakfast meeting this morning and were given some statistics.

30% of the people CLP has worked with have been from culturally diverse backgrounds or are disabled

I think that is great - people are saying - "Yeah, I do fit in."

Sync is one of those programmes that I really like.

Thank you so much to Sarah and to Jo and also to Diane (who works at CLP), for making something which is absolutely special.

It’s a good example of how you can work well with leaders. You can reach out to everyone and open doors to let people come in, supporting them as they move through.

It's not about holding on to people, it's about reaching out, pulling in and supporting them as they go forward.

Moving forwards

photo of an arrow on the road showing the way forwards

Sync has fitted in well with CLP. We have wanted the same things.

I am really happy that Sync is going forwards.

It shows that you have worked really hard - you deserve it.

It shows that the message has got through. Here's a good quality way to really making diversity work!