Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy - Museums Association

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

1.0 Introduction

The Museums Association (MA) is committed to ensuring that as an employer, a service provider and a policy maker it addresses inequality and exclusion; advocates best practice and acts as a role model for the sector.   

The MA looks to embed the principles of anti-racism in all aspects of its activity, specifically participating in the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organisational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably. 

This Policy sets out how the MA will deliver this commitment and realise its mission and vision. 

2.0 External Context

2.1 The Equality Act (2010) brought together multiple legislation associated with equality and discrimination and its general purpose is to: 

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct 
  • Advance equality of opportunity by: 
    – removing or minimising disadvantage 
    – meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others 
    – encouraging participation in public life 
  • Foster good relations 

2.2 At the same time the legislation was also extended to protect people with nine protected characteristics: 

  1. Age 
  2. Disability 
  3. Gender 
  4. Gender Reassignment 
  5. Marital Status & Civil Partnerships 
  6. Pregnancy & Maternity 
  7. Race & Ethnic Origin 
  8. Religion or Belief 
  9. Sexual Orientation 

Socio-Economic Origin/Status is not classed as a protected characteristic however many organisations, including the MA, include it in their thinking and in their action.

Another important issue is intersectionality (also known as multiple discrimination) where an individual belongs to more than one of the protected groups and is affected disproportionately as a result of this.

2.3 The MA’s definition of diversity is:

…any characteristic which can differentiate groups and individuals from one another.  This includes the protected characteristics as defined by the Equalities Act 2010 but also includes others, such as socioeconomic background and status. It also includes and values diversity of perspectives and life experience, for example.

Our understanding and action in this area is supported by the following definitions:

Our definition of inclusion recognises that people need to feel connected and engaged.  Inclusion can be defined as a state of being and feeling valued, respected and supported.  Practising inclusion is necessary for diversity initiatives to work. 

Our definition of equality recognises that every individual should have equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. It recognises that certain groups of people with particular characteristics have in the past and today, experienced discrimination. 

3.0 Internal Context

3.1 Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is explicitly communicated in our mission, vision and values. 

Mission: Inspiring museums to change lives 

Vision: Inclusive, participatory and sustainable museums at the heart of their communities 


  • We lead with courage and passion 
  • We champion diversity and equity 
  • We work collaboratively, inclusively and ethically 
  • We campaign for social and climate justice 
  • We lead change by example 

How the MA delivers to these is outlined in detail in its five-year Strategic Framework that highlights strategic priorities and actions across all business areas. 

3.2 It is everyone’s responsibility to work within this Policy, associated Action Plan, the over-arching legislation and the MA’s Code of Ethics. This applies to all staff and volunteers.  

In addition, specific roles and responsibilities are outlined for: 

  • The Board of Trustees has an overarching accountability for ensuring the MA complies with legislation. 

The Senior Management Team has an overarching responsibility for ensuring the MA complies with legislation; meets the commitments of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  

Policy, and delivers progress on identified actions to enable people to operate within their role and remit. The MA will provide appropriate support and training to ensure everyone feels able to contribute.  This will include exploration of equality, diversity and inclusion as part of induction to the organisation. 

3.3 Supporting Procedures 

The two key procedures that support our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion are outlined below. 

Equality Analysis – is the process by which an organisation gathers information, assesses and records the likely and/or actual impact of current or proposed policies, processes or products. 

Action Planning – will enable the MA to take both a tactical and strategic approach. By looking at the results of the Equality Analyses a detailed Action Plan can be developed. This Action Plan looks forward for the next 5 years in line with the  Strategic Framework. 

3.4 Publishing and Reporting 

The MA will publish its EDI policy and will report on it to its Board of Trustees. 

3.5 Policy Review 

This Policy will be reviewed every three years unless there is reason to believe that the content of the policy is not delivering the aspiration for equality diversity and inclusion. 

4.0 Associated Policies  
  • Equal Opportunities (2020) 
  • Code of Ethics (2016) 
  • Statement on Intolerance (2017) 
  • Museums Change Lives (2013 and 17)