Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

The Barbican has vowed to take decisive action “to build a culture where staff feel confident, valued and respected” following a damning report by an independent investigation team.

The report by the law firm Lewis Silkin, published today and ordered by the centre’s funder, the Corporation of London, investigated more than 120 allegations of discrimination, a third of which related to racism after interviewing 35 individuals.

It found “a lack of diversity in the organisation, an absence of confidence in HR systems and in the handling of complaints and in managers to deal with or take seriously concerns of racism”.

The investigation comes after the publication of Barbican Stories, unofficial reports of discrimination experiences by staff over a period of years.

The centre has already has launched an action plan to tackle racism committing it to “radical transformation of culture and behaviours”.

The Barbican is without a managing director since the retirement of Sir Nicholas Kenyon in the summer, but the centre’s chairman Tom Sleigh said: “The 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 board, I apologise to any member of staff, both former and current, who has experienced this unacceptable behaviour.”


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