About Us


We are the Chartered Institute for Archaeologist’s (CIfA’s) Equality and Diversity Group. The group is here as 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 fewer women over the age of 40, translating to a lack of women in senior roles. None of these trends correspond with national statistics, which suggests there is a fundamental need for the profession to address these inequalities. Britain has a diverse population which means the archaeology sector should too, and our group aims to address this.


Image of Hannah Cobb - ChairHannah Cobb (Chair)

Hannah Cobb is is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Manchester. Hannah has created the Archaeological Skills Passport for CIfA student members, and has also worked for the Higher Education Academy’s Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology, researching the role of fieldwork in the undergraduate degree and in graduate employability.

Hannah founded the Equality and Diversity Group and  is also the  founder of the everyDIGsexism Project, which calls out sexism in Archaeology using the #everyDIGsexism and celebrates good practice in equality and diversity in the profession using the #ArchSwan.

Image of Joseph Flatman - Committee MemberJoseph Flatman (Secretary)

Joe works at Historic England in their Listing Group. Originally an archaeologist, he now works across the heritage sector. He has both a professional and personal interest in equality and diversity issues as a straight white man determined to be a proactive friend and ally to those less advantaged than him, in the absolute conviction that equality issues are part of the long-term battle for universal human rights of benefit to all. As the actor Patrick Stewart  puts it: ‘people will not listen unless you are an old white man, so I’m an old white man and I will use that to help people who need it’. Joe is particularly interested in helping to address issues of harassment and bullying in the sector. You can follow him on Twitter @joeflatman

Emily Taylor - PictureEmily Taylor (Treasurer)

Emily is a Heritage Consultant for a leading supplier of heritage services. Having undertaken her master’s degree focusing on accessible archaeology, she worked with the general public and a multi-sensory museum to identify ways of enhancing access and engagement. Her research offered a critical exploration of the relationship between dis/ability and the sector, and challenged the existing framework of social thinking. Emily joined the committee as she is passionate about equality and diversity. Emily is also part of her company’s outreach team, working towards making commercial archaeology a more inclusive environment for all. New to Twitter, you can follow her on @_ELTaylor_

Laura Hampden - PictureLaura Hampden (Communications Officer)

Laura is a Historic Environment Record Officer at the Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service (GLAAS), Historic England. She has spent several years working on local authority HER’s since graduating from Reading University. Laura is currently studying for her Masters in Cultural Heritage and Resource Management at the University of Winchester and has recently spent time working on heritage projects in Barbados and with local Caribbean communities in Reading. She is passionate about enabling wider communities to access heritage and improving engagement between currently under-represented audiences and heritage organisations.

Penelope Foreman (Social Media Communications  Officer)

Penelope is a PhD researcher in archaeology at Bournemouth University. In the gap between undergraduate archaeology studies and her postgraduate research, she qualified as a primary school teacher, specialising in boosting attainment and engagement in hard to reach communities. She has worked on outreach for heritage organisations and charities, and is project lead on the Fess Project, a heritage and arts outreach community project. Penelope is a long standing proponent of equality of access, and from her experience as a UNISON Equality Officer and committed trade unionist, has a particular interest in equality of access for people with disabilities, LGBT rights, and anti-harassment policies. She can be found online @susmounds

Image of Amanda FeatherAmanda Feather

Amanda has broad experience in heritage roles including archaeology, community and education, training, and the heritage sector more generally. Plus work based training and heritage research, policy and strategy. She is currently Head of Capacity Building at Historic England ensuring our training contributes fully to capacity building initiatives for the heritage workforces.

Amanda is interested in celebrating women working in cultural heritage, especially in senior roles, so all things glass ceiling/pyramid related. She is also interested in sharing good practice and strategies to create a more diverse workforce which recruits and develops people from a much broader talent pool.

What do we do?

The group’s core function will be to work with and support CIfA members and Registered Organisations to challenge the lack of equality and diversity in the profession in line with principle 5 of the Code of Conduct that all members and Registered Organisations have signed up to;

‘The member shall recognise the aspirations of employees, colleagues and helpers with regard to all matters relating to employment, including career development, health and safety, terms and conditions of employment and equality of opportunity.’

The group will  support research to continually assess barriers to equality and diversity within the profession, research, support and develop best practice strategies for challenging the inequalities in gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability that currently exist. We will form partnerships with equality and diversity officers in other key professional bodies, and other interest groups will also be fundamental to the work of this group.

The specific functions of the group will be to:

  • Develop a detailed understanding of equality and diversity in the profession
  • Support research to identify and continuously assess barriers to equality.
  • Contribute to the profession’s understanding and implementation of the Equality Act 2010
  • Consider whether there is a need to create a Standard and Guidance document for HR, with a specific focus on Equality and Diversity
  • Research, support and promote best practice strategies for challenging inequalities in the profession
  • Increase the understanding of the role of archaeologists in society among diverse groups and improve our status by working with CIfA members to make the discipline more diverse and therefore more relevant to our diverse society
  • Support and promote those who demonstrate exemplary practice in equality and diversity in the profession
  • Form partnerships with other professional bodies and interest groups to enhance equality and diversity and to share best practice examples (e.g. Athena Swan, WISE, Historic England’s social inclusion and diversity adviser, British Women Archaeologists, the Diversity in Heritage Group, Stonewall)
  • Create and maintain an online repository or hub, coupled with the use of social media, to share and disseminate information, guidance and best practice from across the heritage sector.
  • Work across sectors to highlight the immense benefits of positive equality and diversity practice within allied industries (e.g. the recent study and recommendations in Equality and Diversity: Good Practice for the Construction Sector)
  • We will realise many of the above functions by consulting with members, by running annual CPD and training events around equality and diversity issues, by developing a suite of online training resources, as well as working in partnership with many of the other SIGs to address these issues where our interests overlap.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s