Last year as a venue, Printworks London made a commitment to play our part to support changing the experiences of black people here in the UK for the better, with an actionable plan for our business.
As many of our team are returning to work and the industry as a whole is starting to come back to life after the effects of Covid, we have been able to progress the conversations about what we can do to contribute to long term substantial change in improving the current imbalance and address injustice.
During this process, we have had many open and honest discussions and have made a commitment to building a new set of standards in terms of education, representation and accountability across our parent business and the subsequent venues and entertainment properties we own and run.
The below outlines these areas in further detail.
Firstly, the full business has begun mandatory training to educate all levels of the business on both the micro and macro forms that injustice can present itself. We want to provide our teams with the tools required to stand up against injustice both at work and in their personal lives, and foster an environment that enables our employees to trust our commitment to tackling any concerns should they arise. This mandatory training will continue over the coming months (with long term refresher courses), and for all new hires moving forward training will be undertaken during the orientation process.
Secondly, we’ve begun re-structuring our recruitment policies to ensure that we’re advancing inclusion, equality and diversity within all levels of our workforce as a priority. We acknowledge that a more conscious recruitment process needs to a) make our business attractive to a more diverse talent pool and b) diversify the platforms and agencies that we use to recruit new talent. This will be key to ensuring diversity at all levels within our business.
Programming & Talent
As we’re in the process of programming our AW21 season at our music venues Printworks & The Drumsheds, we’re more aware of the importance of ensuring that we’re giving a platform to a diverse pool of talent. In addition to more racial diversity, we’re also committed to giving a platform to more female and LGBTQ+ talent for our own programmed and promoted shows.
In relation to our venue operations we already have strict zero-tolerance measures in place to ensure all our guests are treated with respect and understanding from the moment they arrive, and will continue to review policies and any feedback to ensure this continues. Our guests are the lifeblood of our business and it is imperative that our spaces are inclusive, comfortable and safe for all.
Our next step will be to identify some charities that we can forge new partnerships with to support the advancement of marginalised communities here in the UK and London in particular in a sustainable way. We want to support charities who are focused on improving racial equality, education and fighting social injustice in the UK.
Ultimately, as a team we see the beauty in our differences and want to maintain environments and experiences that allow those differences to be celebrated. We’re committed to making changes that are substantial and for the long term.