Equality, Inclusion and Diversity

The Council for British Archaeology understands that as an organisation we are not representative of society in the UK today. We are committed to working towards diversity, inclusion, and equality in our work and the heritage sector.

We believe that wider participation is essential to archaeology, and we actively aspire to help people to discover, explore and create stories and connections to places through archaeology. We believe that archaeology enables communities to learn about the past, and encourage them to feel connected to the places and people around them. However, this doesn’t mean that we believe that all legacies should be preserved statically or without question. Many aspects of heritage are contested, or people find painful or difficult. For these reasons, it is important we listen to communities that tell us about contested heritage, particularly as Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people are underrepresented within the heritage sector. Archaeology and Heritage cannot contribute to the well-being of communities and support learning, discovery and creativity about the past unless the archaeology and heritage practice we undertake today is inclusive and equitable.

Our current goals and actions include: 

  • Engaging with colleagues from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities to help highlight issues within the archaeology and heritage sector to support and facilitate positive action; 
  • Maintaining our online resources hub highlighting as wide a range as possible of diversity, equality, and inclusion resources; 
  • Implementing the recommendations of our review into diversity, inclusion and equality undertaken in 2021, including:
    • Strengthening the framework within which we take forward our work on equality and diversity, with a new action plan and improved set of policy documents that better reflects our values and intentions as an organisation.; 
    • Embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues at a Trustee level to guide, inform and prioritise our future approaches and actions;
    • Improving the Board’s focus on inclusivity and equity through a new approach to training, development and meetings. Holding an annual board away day with opportunities for learning in this area.
    • Developing a more inclusive board recruitment process, including by becoming part of the Young Trustees Movement.
    • Changing the way we work as a staff team, including through developing a set of organisational behaviours; allocating time and resources to training; reviewing job descriptions to include equality, diversity and inclusion as part of everyone’s role and making changes to recruitment practices.
    • Improving the way we collect and use data relating to diversity, across the organisation.
    • Being accountable for our work in this area, both by having published commitments and policies, and also by having a public statement from the Executive Director on the historical injustices relating to the development of archaeology in the past.
    • Making changes to marketing and communications including inclusive graphic design principles and an improved Welsh language strategy.
  • Continuing to ensure that our social media do not promote any exclusionary or prejudiced views; 
  • Actively promoting the work and experience of a wider range of archaeologists; 
  • Supporting wider training and promotion of inclusive practices and approaches to archaeology; 
  • Supporting positive action to promote diverse and inclusive placements and apprenticeships wherever possible. 

Our latest statement is due to be published shortly. 

We are very aware that more needs to be done and that archaeology and heritage are not representative of wider society. We will actively address our own actions to ensure they are fully reflective of society today. We will continue to work with the wider heritage sector to ensure it is more inclusive and diverse both in participation and practice.