Equality and Diversity Group


This group provides a direct response to the labour market survey data for archaeology from the last two decades, which demonstrates that the workforce in British archaeology is predominantly white, able-bodied and has notably less women over the age of 40, translating to a lack of women in senior roles. None of these trends correspond with national statistics, in turn suggesting a fundamental need for the profession to address these inequalities. Therefore the group’s core function will be to work with and support CIfA individual members and Registered Organisations to challenge the lack of equality and diversity in the profession. It will undertake this by supporting research to continually assess barriers to equality and diversity within the profession, and by researching, supporting and developing best practice strategies for challenging the inequalities in gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability that currently exist. Forming partnerships with equality and diversity officers in other key professional bodies and interest groups will also be fundamental to the work of this group.

Join the Group

The Equality and Diversity Group is open to all members of the CIfA, and we also encourage non-members and students to join us as well. We already have members from many areas of the heritage industry, different specialisms and a spectrum of interests. We hope that the issues we cover are something which all people within the heritage industry can relate to and have a vested interest in improving for all.

We value the views and knowledge that all our members bring to the group and hope to involve all our members actively in our group.

Please do join us!

Membership is free to CIfA members. Non-members need to pay an annual £10 fee or e-mail: groups@archaeologists.net


Hannah Cobb (Chair)
Jim Brightman(Secretary)
Emily Taylor (Treasurer)

Joe Flatman
Penny Foreman (Publicity & Comms)
Alex Grassam
Laura Hampden
Catherine Rees
Kevin Wooldridge

Website and Social Media

The Equality and Diversity Group has a website and blog. We are still developing the site and our aim is to achieve an accessible site which will be a repository of information and a key source for resources on equality and diversity issues. Our website will also become a location for our research and where more details on upcoming events can be found. We welcome feedback on the usability of our website and this can be given through groups@archaeologists.net We're also on social media.

Find out more by visiting the groups' website and Facebook page or on Twitter @CIfA_Equality

Equality and diversity in archaeology

CIfA's Board of Directors has agreed to embark on a comprehensive strategy that will have the greatest impact for the profession and strongly recognises the important roles of organisations representing employers, employees and those in education. CIfA is working with the Industry Group (an existing collaboration between FAME, Prospect and CIfA) to jointly develop a pan-sectoral strategy on equality and diversity in archaeology. This would be owned by all three organisations and would commit each to jointly working on specific actions. Please see further information here.

Current Activities and Research

We are currently writing up our conference session from the 2016 CIfA conference and hope to get the feedback out very soon. This will also lead into amendments to our action plan which will come into action at our Autumn AGM. We hope to publish this write-up in full both here and on our website.

We are also working on some guidelines for accessibility in print and web formats, which we hope to share with our members and the CIfA within the next year.

Forthcoming Events

For information about upcoming events, please visit our event calendar.

Past events

  • The 2018 AGM was held at Historic England's London offices in, Cannon Bridge House, London, on 5 March.

  • AGM Agenda March 2018

  • AGM minutes March 2017
  • AGM Treasurer report March 2018**

  • The 2017 AGM was held at at the Hive Worcester on 7 March. The Voluntary and Community Archaeology group also held their AGM there and after lunch members of both groups attended a Mental Health Aid CPD workshop facilitated by training providers approved by Mental First Aid England.

  • Equality & Diversity at the CIfA Conference - Friday 22 April 2016 at the CIfA Conference there was an all day session run by the Equality & Diversity Group

Equality and Diversity in an Archaeological Context

Session Organisers: Cath Poucher (University of Oxford) and Sarah MacLean (Historic England)

Britain has a diverse population which means the archaeology sector does too. Issues surrounding gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and ethnicity are rarely examined as part of the archaeological workforce. The new CIfA Equality and Diversity Group has been set up to support archaeologists and employers understand these issues, and promote equality. It has been nearly 5 years since the Equality Act (2010) came into force replacing a host of earlier legislation; Sex Discrimination Act (1975), Race Relations Act (1976) and Disability Discrimination Act (1995). With this in mind, this workshop will explore this further and look at ways the group can work for you and a more diverse workforce.

The workshop will focus on three specific areas; gender, disability and LBGT, before drawing together the themes and identifying ways we can move forward. Each session will start with a short presentation by a passionate advocate or specialist on the topic. This will be followed by round table discussion around a set of questions for 30 minutes before each table feeds back to the room. During the final session, Equality and Diversity in Context, a Q&A session with our speakers and a chance to draw things to a close.

Whilst we encourage participants to share the themes and outcomes of the workshop we would ask that the specifics of what delegates share are kept in confidence by all those who attend. The workshop will not be filmed and we would like to create an environment where participants feel they can share openly.

The workshop is very much an opportunity to find out more about these issues, consider how diverse your workplace is and how to encourage that diversity.


The committee met on 13 June 2016
The Group AGM took place in Autumn 2016.


Newsletter 1 July 2016

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