News-update: Summer 2016


And welcome to the first CIfA Equality and Diversity Group members’ newsletter.
As many of you will know, the Equality and Diversity Group formed about a year ago and since then we have been super busy appointing committee members, organising conference sessions and working behind the scenes towards lots of things which we hope will help to improve the situation for all throughout the industry.
In this newsletter, we hope to re-cap on what we’ve done over the last year and let you know what we are going to be doing over the next 3 to 4 months.

Meetings 2015 – 2016 (in brief)

Equality and Diversity Group 2015 AGM

Our first meeting was held on the 14th of October 2015, in York.
The main outcomes of this meeting were to:
Confirm the constitution of the group and submit it to CIfA.
Confirm the Committee and vote to approve roles within the committee.
Confirm the future program of meetings.
Agree the form and concept of a session at CIfA 2016 conference.
Response to SALON was discussed and agreed.

Equality and Diversity Group 2015 winter meeting

The Committee met on the 3rd of December 2015, in London.
The main outcomes and discussions which took place at this meeting were:
 An agreement to add a paternity and sick leave clause to the constitution with CIfA, this will also be added to all group constitutions.
A proposal was put forward for a hardship clause to be added to the constitution in order that the joining fee may be waived.
The role of Communications officer was agreed and appointed.
The Equality and Diversity Group logo was agreed.
The format and content of the CIfA conference session was discussed and approved.
The chair confirmed that she would attend the Groups Forum meeting on the 27th of January 2016.

CIfA Groups Forum 2016

The Equality and Diversity Group Chair, Hannah Cobb, attended the CIfA Groups Forum on behalf of the committee.
The main notes from this were:
Business plans and budgets need to be maintained.
Newsletters are ideal to encourage CIfA members to remain active in groups.
The groups tool kit has been updated and is available for use.
HS2 was discussed in terms of general impact.
Groups are encouraged to interact and do joint events.
The CIfA website is undergoing a program of improvement.
Equality and Diversity Group 2016 spring meeting
The committee met on the 4th of February 2016, in Birmingham.
The key points discussed were:
The rejection of the ‘Waiver’ clause for the group constitution.
The website and social media were launched and in use.
Discussions began with FAME following the article in ‘The Archaeologist’ and it was indicated that all sides hope to work very closely together.
It was decided that Joe Flatman would enter into conversation with Diggers Forum about working more closely and the possibility of joint events.
The chair reported on Groups Forum.
Further discussion and organisation of the CIfA conference session was undertaken.
The draft Action Plan was presented.

CIfA Advisory Council 2016

Joe Flatman attended the CIfA Advisory council on behalf of the group.
The main points raised were:
Confirmation of the CIfA AGM date and location
The the priorities for the remainder of the CIfA strategic plan were discussed and agreed
A discussion workshop about how CIfA can better communicate and disseminate its advocacy work
An update on what CIfA has been doing to try to ensure that archaeology remains a material consideration in the Housing and Planning bill
Call for people to join a new small working group on ethics in the sector. Joe Flatman joined the working group.

Equality and Diversity Group 2016 summer meeting

The Committee met on the 13th of June 2016, at the Prospect offices in London.
The main points were:
A presentation by Marion Scovell (Head of Prospect legal department) which covered the legal background of equality and diversity. This raised some actions for the committee to move forward with and improved our ability to inform our members of the correct path.
TrowelBlazers – How can we support and promote the ‘Raising horizons’ exhibition and TrowelBlazers more generally?
A discussion was had on how to address ethical issues within the profession.
Joe Flatman reported from Advisory Council.
Agreed that the group will have a presence at CIfA 2017 and 2018.
A date for the AGM was discussed
Hannah offered some insight into Athena Swan.
Mike Kimber attended the FAME 2016 conference.



Enabled is a Facebook page which has been set up by, among others, Theresa O’Mahony. It went live earlier this year and has had a wonderful response.
The page was established to provide a safe place and community for dis/abled and enabled archaeologists. On the page you can share stories, find resources to aid in your career or education, or ask for advice in difficult situations. There is always a friendly ear and a group of helpful individuals to talk to.
The page can be found at
The group is private but access can be added easily by the daily admin, for alternative access please email


The CIfA Pathways scheme has been created to provide structured resources to support Student and Affiliate members to upgrade to a professional accredited grade and to support career entrants in gaining Practitioner-level membership. CIfA has compiled key documents to help with this, including why you should upgrade and writing your statement of competence, and are trialling the scheme with individuals.
If you would like to volunteer to join the scheme and help us with the trial please email Once your application is successful we will ask for your feedback on how you found it and areas to improve for the future.
Lianne Birney, CIfA

Wessex Archaeology

During, and after, our session at CIfA 2016 Alex Grassam let us know about Wessex Archaeology’s work to improve working conditions within the company and the research into equality and diversity issues which they are carrying out.
Since the conference members of the committee have been in contact with Alex and others at Wessex to discuss widening their research via a survey for staff into issues, attitudes and processes within the company. We hope to be able to support and aid Wessex in this and be able to report on the results as soon as we can.
We were also made aware that Wessex is supporting some staff members to go on the new Mental Health First Aid course, in association with Operation Nightingale, and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Wessex Archaeology on this demonstration of good practice.
More detail can be found on the Wessex Blog

Ethics working group

A number of members of the Equality and Diversity Group are part of a new Advisory Council working group on ethics in the profession. This stems from discussions at the last CIfA Advisory Council meeting which discussed the possibility of CIfA providing case studies to illustrate ethical questions that frequently arise in members’ day-to-day experiences. Other chartered institute already provide their members with information in this regard, such as the RTPI ( ethics_and_professional_standards.pdf) and RICS (–professional-standards/ethical-case-studies/).
More information will be made available in due course and case studies will be made available to members via the CIfA website and The Archaeologist.

Pride of Place

Historic England recently teamed up with Leeds Beckett University and community groups nationwide to record and celebrate the places lived, loved, worked and played in by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people over the centuries. More information is available online at, and the project includes an interactive map where anyone can upload their contributions – see

Website and social media update

As with many of the CIfA groups we rely on our website, the CIfA groups page and social media to communicate with you all. In this section of the newsletter we will give a brief overview of what presence we have in digital media and what is the main function of each.

CIfA group site

Like all CIfA groups we have a page on the CIfA website groups area. This is a great resource for you and for us to communicate with you. On this page you will find our group meeting minutes, newsletters, past and future events, as well as how to join our group and what we are doing at the moment.
Our main aim with this page is to keep it up to date and to allow you to see what we are doing at a glance and catch up if you need to.

Equality and Diversity Group website

Our groups website can be accessed through the CIfA website and can also be found at the web address below:
On this site you can find more detail on what we are doing, further detail on our group, resources for you, and our Blog!
This site is still under development but we hope to make it as accessible as possible to all users through implementation of accessibility guidance across the site. We value your input throughout this process and if you find our site difficult to use in any way then please contact us via CIfA and let us know. We will endeavour to get back to you and state how we will reach your needs or enact changes to resolve the issues you have found with our site.
We have had a good uptake on the Blog and hope to keep up a steady flow of material through this format. If you would like to share a blog post with us please contact us through CIfA.
We want to hear from you!

Social media

The Equality and Diversity Group have a strong presence on Social Media, particularly on Twitter. We like to engage with you all and see what is important to you and what issues/research you are aware of in the heritage industry. And luckily for us you all like to stay in touch with us too.
We used social media as part of our event at the CIfA conference this year and hope to use it in future events to as it was such a success.

Raising Horizons –

200 years of trowel blazing women’s history in archaeology, geology and palaeontology
This month saw the passing of one of the great archaeologists, Beatrice de Cardi, who had decades of fieldwork behind her, and received many accolades. Yet even though the professional landscape has changed greatly since Beatrice’s early days in the 1930s, there’s still a way to go in improving diversity. TrowelBlazers was set up in 2013 to highlight the contribution of women to archaeology (together with geology and palaeontology), and along with Beatrice, the website features over 100 mini-biographies, more than half crowd-sourced from an active community including the public.
We’ve found that not only were there many more women than are commonly assumed working right from the beginning of archaeology, but they were never isolated cases, frequently linked to other women through training, mentoring or research. TrowelBlazers aims to uncover and share these networks, and use them together with inspirational individual stories to reset people’s imaginations about who archaeologists are.
Following various outreach successes including the Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll, in 2017 we are launching a collaborative project with renowned photographer Leonora Saunders and Prospect Union. Raising Horizons will spotlight individuals from the past and present through a touring photographic exhibition featuring archive images and newly shot portraits that reference historic trowelblazers. Alongside this, oral history interviews will capture the experiences and connections of the women working today, as a first step to a wider project on the heritage of women in archaeology.
With support already from many organisations (including the Society of Antiquaries, Geological Society, Palaeontological Association, Historic England, the British Academy, British Science Association, Prehistoric Society, CBA and CIfA), we are applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, but are also seeking other funding. We welcome enquiries from individuals and organisations such as archaeological units who may wish to join our special sponsorship scheme (which includes various benefits/perks including tickets to the launch at Burlington House), host the exhibition or be involved in running side events such as talks. Please contact for more information.
Rebecca Wragg-Sykes

Equality and Diversity committee report

Despite only being in existence since October 2015, we have had a really positive and active first ‘year’ as a group, holding an AGM, three committee meetings (including a CPD workshop for the committee), and having a stand and running a day long CPD workshop at the CIfA conference.
Our inaugural AGM was held in York in October 2015. This saw the election of committee members to the key roles within the group and development of our constitution.
Our first committee meeting was held in December 2015 at Historic England’s London offices, with the meeting highlighting our first success as a group: our constitution. This includes amended wording to allow for the secondment of committee members to replace the Chair, Secretary or Treasurer during extended leave (e.g. parental leave or long-term sick leave); this has now been extended to all CIfA groups. This meeting also resulted in the setting up of our extensive and active social media presence: a key form of engagement and an important route to forming networks with other groups and bodies within heritage and allied sectors. The central achievement of our February committee meeting, hosted by CGMS in their Birmingham office, was the launch of our far-reaching and ambitious three-year action plan.
We had a strong presence at the Leicester conference in April. We had a fantastic response to our stand, where we disseminated our action plan and collated examples of good practice. The full-day CPD workshop we ran was really well attended. Four short papers from speakers who were both inspirational and moving stimulated facilitated discussion and feedback which resulted in a wealth of practical suggestions for short- and long-term actions by individuals, companies and organisations to promote better equality and diversity practice across the sector.
Finally we held a committee meeting in June 2016 at Prospect’s head office in London. The meeting agreed on the further development of our communications strategy (including timeframe for producing our first newsletter), explored options for our next AGM and a CPD workshop for members, and agreed on our strategy for the next conference, for which we are now drafting a session abstract. Prospect also provided a 2 hour CPD session on the Equality Act for committee members, which will be essential in informing our future work. We look forward to doing even more in our first full year.


We need you!

We are looking for new people to join our committee.
If you want to get more involved with this dynamic new group please contact (group secretary).

What’s next for Equality and Diversity?

Over the next few months Equality and Diversity will be Engaging in the following:
 Group AGM in October, date and venue TBC
 More Blogs!
 Continuing to develop our guidance for accessibility in print and web.
 Following the progress of the new working group, as proposed at CIfA Advisory council.
 Recruiting some new members!
 Saying farewell to our Chair Hannah (for a little While)….
 And Hello to Honorary Interim Chair Jim Brightman.
 Processing and refining the results and reactions to our session at the 2016 CIfA conference.
 Planning our 2017 session for CIfA conference!
 Keeping up our work and communication with all of you .
Thanks to all and please keep up with us on
Twitter – @CIfA_Equality
Facebook –
Wordpress –

Thanks Hannah!

As some of you may know, our Chair Hannah Cobb is going on maternity leave from the group shortly.
The Equality and Diversity Group would like to wish Hannah all the best over the next few months and can’t wait to say ‘Hello!’ to our newest junior member.
We hope that she will enjoy her leave and some much earned time with her family, and would also like to thank her for all her hard work in the group so far. We wouldn’t be where we are today without her hard work and dedication in bringing us together and throughout the last year.
So enjoy your leave Hannah and come back to us very soon!
Wishing you well from the Equality and Diversity Group

And finally, thanks to all our members, with an additional congratulations for those of you who made it all the way to the end of our very first newsletter.
Take care until next time!

Equality and Diversity