Group of people in discussion


Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

At Somerset House we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community reflecting the diversity of our society. A community of staff, residents and audience where everyone feels valued, where their contribution matters and where they can reach their full potential, irrespective of their background, identity or circumstances.

We aim to ensure the diversity of all our staff - including volunteers and trustees - reflects our society as fully as possible. Similarly, we aim to be home to a resident community of artists and enterprises from an equally diverse range of situations, backgrounds and disciplines.

Skate Lates
Skate Lates
Hassan Hajjaj Young People's Workshop
Hassan Hajjaj Young People's Workshop

Our cultural programme, including Somerset House Studios and our Inclusive Talent Engagement programme, is made up of the work of artists, makers and thinkers, from a wide range of backgrounds and speaks to a broad range of audiences. We strive to offer a visitor experience which is inclusive and sensitive to the different interests and needs of our audiences, regardless of background or ability. This includes ensuring our building, events and communication materials are fully accessible.

Inner U, Somerset House Studios, Photo © Anne Tetzlaff
Inner U, Somerset House Studios, Photo © Anne Tetzlaff

Somerset House Event Safer Space Policy

All visitors must abide by our Safer Space policy and respect other visitors.

We strive to ensure that all studios, shared spaces, events, exhibitions, and parties at Somerset House are fully inclusive and safe as possible spaces for any person to participate and enjoy without fear of feeling marginalised or unwelcome. By entering Somerset House, you agree to respect anybody, attire, gender, sexual orientation, race, belief and experience whatsoever, and should expect to receive that same respect. By entering the space, you agree to treat all people equally and without prejudice or presumptions, including our staff.

If you need to report an incident at Somerset House, please use our Safer Space Reporting page or inform a member of staff or security. 

You can find our Safeguarding policy here.

Recruitment and Training

We are committed to ensuring that we are hiring people from backgrounds which reflect London’s demography more broadly. Through internal monitoring, we have identified certain areas for improvement and are currently taking active measures to improve representation from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and lower socio-economic groups and those with a disability.

We actively engage with external partners and networking groups who can support our diversity and inclusion objectives, and work with groups and collaborators who can support our ethos. We are committed to working with groups such as the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei), who can provide us with support and guidance in achieving our diversity and inclusion objectives. Equally, we are committed to training our staff on topics including Unconscious Bias, Valuing Diversity, Respect and Inclusion and Dignity at Work.

The Somerset House Trust leadership will be accountable for monitoring and enforcing these goals and objectives. The Trust’s internal action group is led by the Director of Somerset House and HR Manager.

Young People

As home to what is probably the largest concentration of creative enterprises, artists and arts organisations in the UK, we believe Somerset House can play a distinctive role in tackling some of the barriers around access and diversity for young people wishing to develop a career in the cultural and creative sectors. Therefore, we have developed a Creative Careers programme, including the Upgrade Yourself: Creative Industry Placements initiative which aim to:

  • Establish a structured entry route for young people from diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers in entering the cultural sector
  • Develop a sustainable talent pipeline which broadens the cultural and social diversity of employees across Somerset House residents and in the sector
  • Shape a replicable model which can be adapted and shared with the wider creative industries sector

Somerset House Trust is a member of the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei), the leading employer network promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace.