Tuesday 24 September 2019

Arts staff to get workshops on sexual harassment

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys Photo: Steve Humphreys
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys Photo: Steve Humphreys

Alison Bray

Board members and senior staff in arts organisations are to take part in special workshops on sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys announced.

Ms Humphreys is preparing a suite of measures on workplace harassment in relation to organisations reporting to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

“The workshops will deal with governance in general, with a particular focus on the role of the board, the board’s relationship with the executive and their respective legal responsibilities,” said a statement.

There will be a emphasis on issues relating to “bullying, abuse of power and sexual harassment in the workplace”.

Other arts and cultural organisations will also be given similar training at a series of “regional information days”.

The minister has also invited the heads of eight leading theatres – including the Abbey and Gate theatres – to meet with her and the Arts Council next week to “discuss ways in which the department and the Arts Council together can support the sector in creating a safe culture and environment for those working in the industry.”

The initiatives are aimed at “driving out unacceptable behaviour”, she added.

There has been sharp focus on the sector following a series of allegations facing the former Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan.

Mr Colgan is expected to issue a statement regarding the allegations in the coming days.

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