Members of England’s lead link heritage grouping, the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) and the working groups of the linked initiative Heritage 2020 recently came together to discuss diversity in the historic environment sector.
At the heart of the Heritage 2020 initiative is a focus on collaboration: as such, the day’s discussions were enhanced by the involvement of individuals who work closely with diversity issues outside of the historic environment sector. After a preliminary address, participants were split into four groups, working on the themes of governance, participation, research, and workforce. Individuals from outside of the sector chaired these groups, contributing their perspectives on diversity issues. Over the course of two sessions, each group sought to identify challenges and seek practical solutions, focusing on the ways in which collaborative working can address these challenges.
Discussion between all participants identified the need to democratise the notion of heritage, and for radical action to change current understanding and perceptions. This belief was reflected in the recommendations that emerged from the day. These included collaborating with individuals from outside the historic environment sector, and addressing diversity not as a single issue, but as an embedded process working across the sector.
See notes on the day
Find out more about Heritage 2020 and how to get involved