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Inclusive meetings

Our EDI Strategy aims to foster a more inclusive work culture where everyone gets the opportunities, resources and support they need to succeed in their job and feel they belong.

We all attend meetings as part of our jobs, so making sure that everybody is comfortable and empowered to actively contribute is an important step towards making the Barbican a more inclusive place to work.

  1. Circulate an agenda the day before so everyone has time to prepare. Consider asking for feedback and additions to the agenda ahead of time.
  2. Start and end meetings on time. This shows the importance we place on respecting our colleagues’ time.
  3. Ask yourself, does everybody in the meeting know each other? If not, consider a quick round of introductions, sharing your name, visual description of yourself and pronouns if you feel comfortable doing so.
  4. If you’re chairing a meeting, keep track of who’s talking — and who isn’t. Ensure everyone gets a chance to contribute by following a ‘hands up’ policy in all meetings. This will make sure that everyone who wants to speak, can speak.
  5. Outcomes should be circulated to all attendees shortly after the meeting so that everyone knows the decision and actions, and we all take away the same points. Where appropriate, record meetings for people who couldn’t attend or need to refer back.
  6. Build in time for breaks between meetings. Give people space to think, process, sit, move, and hydrate. For Outlook users, IT have adjusted the defaults so that standard meetings are 25 or 50 minutes (rather than 30 or 60) – although you’ll still be able to override this if necessary.
  7. Respect peoples’ working patterns when planning a meeting. We all work differently.
  8. In cross-departmental meetings, explain technical vocabulary and acronyms. Aim to keep language as simple as possible.
  9. When sending invites, ask for any reasonable adjustments required for attendees. In physical meetings, consider seating and arrangements that accommodate mobility aids and provide a clear line of sight for all participants.
  10. Most importantly we should always ask ourselves: does it need to be a meeting? Or can it be addressed via a call, email or Teams message?

We’ll continue to review how useful these guidelines are. We’d love to hear if you have feedback or ideas of what we could do differently. Get in touch at [email protected]