We want to be a diverse, inclusive and accessible organisation and we support the commitment to transparency in the Theatre Call to Action open letter.

We are committed to ensuring that we are a diverse and inclusive organisation, accessible, welcoming and truly representative of the population of the UK, offering equality of opportunity to our current and potential audiences and workforce.

We recognise that we have much more to do for this to be consistently true. In 2018 we set out clear objectives and specific actions for improvement, in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2018-2022, under the following headings: Representation, Talent Pipeline, Data Collection, Workforce Development.  

The headline objectives included:

  1. Ensure RSC Board and Governors are diverse and representative
  2. Ensure Senior Leadership Team/Senior Staff succession planning includes diverse candidates
  3. Fully apply the Creative Case for Diversity and broaden the range of artists with whom we work, actively seeking to include artistic collaborators from under-represented groups
  4. Continue to diversify the talent pipeline by curating learning and training opportunities for talented young and under-represented people
  5. Review all recruitment and selection processes to attract, recruit, and retain staff from the widest possible pool of talent, including our apprenticeship scheme
  6. Improve quality and efficacy of data collection
  7. Produce Gender Pay reporting statistics and develop action plans to improve performance
  8. Review Flexible Working policies and approaches
  9. Ensure we are an ‘effectively adaptive’ organisation for D/deaf and disabled candidates and staff
  10. Conduct Equality Impact Assessments against all HR policies and procedures
  11. Introduce positive action recruitment and selection initiatives where teams are not representative
  12. Develop our Respect at Work project, defining agreed behaviours

We have made good progress in some areas, in particular through:

  • Our consistent approach to recruiting diverse artistic talent
  • Our talent development programmes (Next Generation)
  • Promoting a wide range of voices in our new work
  • Significant changes to our data collection, recruitment and training.

However in early 2019, we recognised that in a number of areas we had not been ambitious enough, or had not identified specific actions that would lead to a lasting change, or had underestimated the challenge of being an isolated, under-represented member of the company. We initiated the Making A Difference programme, approved by the RSC Board in April 2019, which set out to invest strategic resources to make more radical change. This includes a commitment to diversify the voices guiding our decision-making at the highest level (Board and Senior Leadership) and consistently challenge the Company to be fully inclusive, understand where we are failing, and to change our practice.

The work was paused when we closed the theatres due to Covid-19, but this programme has now been restarted. We have invited staff and Associate Artists to contribute to our thinking so we can make lasting and effective action and we have pledged to offer our platforms to amplify underrepresented voices. The RSC Board and Senior Leadership Team acknowledge that in addition to the above objectives we must now:

  • Move to further embed training and practices and demonstrate best practice to ensure we are an anti-racist organisation
  • Create concrete opportunities for people with lived experience that is not currently represented at Board or Senior Leadership Team level to contribute to our strategic choices
  • Ensure all the communities we serve are included and considered in our decision-making and activities

Our Workforce

The data published here is for the year 2018/19 in most categories. We will publish data for 2019/2020 as soon as we have it. The numbers against each heading represent data collected not all individuals employed or engaged.

Permanent staff (714)

2% Black/dual heritage
4% People of Colour
94% White

59% identify as female
41% identify as male
We didn't collect data this year for staff who identify as non-binary or gender-fluid.

3% D/deaf/disabled 

Actors (220)

21% Black/dual heritage
38% people of colour

40% identify as female
58% identify as male
2% identify as non-binary or gender-fluid

2% D/deaf/disabled

Creative Teams (102)

5% Black/dual heritage
11% People of colour

3% identify as D/deaf/disabled

48% identify as female
52% identify as male
We didn't collect data this year on creative team members who identify as non-binary or gender-fluid


Board of Trustees (15)

14% Black
86% White

40% identify as female (2020)
60% identify as male (2020)

0% identify as D/deaf or disabled

Senior Leadership Team (11)

100% White

64% identify as female
36% identify as male

Senior Management (40)

2% Black/dual heritage
2% People of Colour

4% D/deaf or disabled 

58% female
42% male

2018/19 writers under commission (30)

13% Black/dual heritage
41% people of colour

0% D/deaf or disabled

60% identified as female
40% identified as male

2019/20 writers under commission (47)

10% Black/dual heritage
38% people of colour

2% D/deaf or disabled

50% identified as female
48% identified as male
2% identified as non-binary

Additional groups we work with

We don’t yet have accurate data for our Youth Advisory Board (31 young people from across the UK who have advised our main Board since 2019) although they are from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, and the most neurodivergent group in our organisation.

Youth Advisory Board and our talent development programme, Next Generation data will be included in our 2019/20 figures.

We do collect data on theatre workers engaged on R and D projects (around 70 each year) but have not been able accurately to access it during lockdown. In terms of representation in an average year these R and D projects are in line with our writers’ commissions.

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