Diversify: impact

Diverify Destination Research

Impact of Diversify scheme on participants’ careers 1998-2011

In June 2011, participants in Diversify were invited to complete an online questionnaire to explore their experiences. There were 43 responses from BAME individuals, representing 39% of the total Diversify BAME cohort of 110 people.

Please click here for a summary of the research (pdf)

Key points

Of minority-ethnic people who participated in the Diversify scheme and responded to a survey:

  • 90% gained work in museums after completing Diversify training
  • 74% were still working in the museum sector at the time of the survey
  • 61% were working in museum management or are on track to work in museum management, the key long-term aim of the Diversify scheme
  • 98% felt that Diversify had either been ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to them starting a career in the museum sector
  • All management-level trainees secured employment in museums soon after completing training

Where have trainees found jobs?

The work is beginning to have an impact on the sector. Trainees and bursary students have secured employment at a wide range of museums and galleries including:

The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent
Leicester City Museums
Brent Museum, London
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
Bristol City Museums
National Museums, Liverpool
Natural History Museum
Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham
Lincolnshire Heritage
Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery
The V&A
Museum of London
Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
London Transport Museum
British Museum
National Gallery
Harrogate Museums
Derby Museum & Art Gallery
Museum of London
Imperial War Museum
Think Tank
Whitworth Art Gallery
Lancashire County Museums Service
Edinburgh City Museums
Sunderland Art Gallery
Museums Luton
National Museums Liverpool
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The Science Museum
Galleries of Justice

What sort of jobs do trainees get?

Trainees go on to do a range of jobs including:

Curatorial Assistant
Assistant Keeper
Assistant Curator
Exhibitions Assistant
Assistant Exhibitions Officer
Exhibitions Officer
Outreach Officer
Access Officer
Learning Assistant
Learning Officer
Project Manager
Project Officer
Programme Coordinator
Community Programmes Officer
Collections Development Officer
Audience Development Officer

Many trainees have continued to support the scheme by becoming Diversify mentors and attending Diversify events.

What do museums think?

The Museums Association has carried out continuous monitoring and evaluation of Diversify and asks each trainee and their host organisation to provide a final feedback report.  Feedback has included the following comment from hosts:

"It has helped amplify our commitment to having a workforce that is representative of the City and District."

"The trainee has gained a great deal of specialist knowledge in the engagement of new audiences.

"Playing an active role in a range of initiatives over the duration of the traineeship has heightened the trainee's knowledge of the potential of museums to provide a range of formal and informal learning opportunities for learners with different needs and abilities."

Hopkins van Mil / Medar Pysden’s evaluation found:

“It is just strength and real credit to the MA that Diversify has been continued and has become embedded; they have worked really hard to bring institutional and sectoral and governmental support to the scheme that gives it a real weight and critical mass.” (Stakeholder)

“The opportunity is immense: we get to develop ourselves at such an amazing speed compared to others in the profession.” (Trainee)

“It is a great opportunity to develop a lot of transferable skills which is useful in terms of career opportunities.” (Trainee)

“I particularly value the combination of academic as well as vocational/ practical training”(trainee)

“It is not just about skills, it is about confidence.” (Trainee)

“Just by having the trainee in the museum, it does raise awareness about diversity issues and even though there might not be any policies in place I think it actually raises people’s awareness because they talk to the trainees and find out why they are there and what Diversify is all about.” (Host)

“The positive aspects of it are that as the person develops they have the potential to become a very valued member of staff. As different projects and initiatives came up their different kind of skills and interests tap into those projects so we ended with a really flexible, charismatic, useful member of staff.” (Museum manager)


Diversify Destination Research 2012 (pdf)

Hopkins van Mil / Medar Pysden 2007 evaluation of Diversify (pdf)

The MA's 2006 evaluation of Diversify (pdf)

The MLA's 2004 evaluation of Diversify (pdf)

The ethnic diversity of the museum workforce (word)

External recognition

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has been our main partner and funder through Renaissance, its regional museum programme.

Support from MLA has enabled the scheme to expand and develop to such an extent that Diversify was cited as a leading example at the Arts Council launch of the Inspire Fellowship Programme. 

The Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CLIP) used the Diversify Toolkit as a model for its Encompass Scheme.

David Lammy MP also demonstrated encouragement and support towards the scheme.

The seriousness of this issue for the sector was highlighted at a summit organised by the MA for national museum directors in December 2006, which David Lammy attended.

Diversify has been recognised by the National Museum Directors Conference's cultural diversity committee and the MA is now seen as a leading sector body in the area of workforce diversification.