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Sarah Davidson

Sarah Davidson

Theatre Administrator, The Old Vic

What makes a good leader?

Someone who listens and takes into account the thoughts and feelings of those that they are working with, while being strong enough not to be overruled by them. To be an enigmatic and charismatic person that people respect and admire, but not too chummy and cross the line.

Is leadership different for disabled people?

I have found having a hidden disability very challenging as obviously people are not aware that there's anything wrong. However, the more I have explained to people what my disability is, the more I have found that they are willing to help and 'look out for me', especially in the creative arts. However, press nights and stressful times exasperate my condition so I need to be particularly careful. I have experienced people excluding me because I haven't wanted to drink because of my medication (on a first night) and this can be quite hard.

Do disabled people experience barriers to leadership that non disabled people don’t experience?

The theatre that I work in at the moment is not accessible to people with mobility issues, so a leader with mobility impairments would not be able to work here. Many of the west end theatres are the same and I don't know how someone with a severe disability would be able to work in an older theatre (although we’re really trying!) At the moment, I think I'm one of very few staff here with a disability.