Barbican staff to receive training after racism complaints

A dossier compiled by lawyers included allegations of “belittling of women of colour’s achievements” and “stereotypical assumptions about race” being made by staff.

It also said staff members were “referred to as a ‘diversity hire’ which suggested “people of colour would not be working at the Barbican based on merit alone”.

The City of London has released an “action plan” in response to the allegations which will be considered by Centre’s board later this month.

It includes “compulsory anti-discrimination training…rolled out to all staff at the Barbican Centre with senior leaders taking part first”.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Barbican Centre Board, Tom Sleigh, said:“This investigation makes tough reading.  All of us want the Barbican Centre to be a truly diverse and inclusive organisation.

“Racism and discrimination have no place in the Barbican Centre or anywhere else in our society. So, on behalf of the entire Barbican Centre Board, I apologise to any member of staff, both former and current, who has experienced this unacceptable behaviour.

“We now take additional decisive action to build a culture in which staff feel confident, valued and respected, and where there is zero-tolerance of all forms of discrimination.“

Investigators heard 121 allegations from 35 people with about a third being complaints of racism.

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