European Youth Orchestra: SignetEuropean Youth Orchestra

Photo: Maria Isabela Nica

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies are designed to make people of various backgrounds feel welcome and ensure they have support to perform to the fullest of their abilities in the workplace.

Diversity is the presence of difference within a given setting. The differences typically refer to race, gender, age, disability (physical and mental), ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, family or marital status, and socio-economic background. A person isn’t diverse. They’re unique.

Equity is the act of ensuring that processes and programmes are impartial, just and transparent, and provide fair possible outcomes for every individual.

Inclusion is the practice of a sense of belonging at work. It is not a natural consequence of diversity: long-time DEI educator Verna Myers, said: “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Inclusion has to do with people with different identities feeling and/or being valued and welcomed within a given setting (team, workplace, industry…), and being given opportunities to grow.

Gender refers to the socially-constructed characteristics, norms, behaviours and roles of women, men, girls and boys. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.

Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons. Gender and sex are related to, but different from, gender identity.

Gender identity refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s physiology or designated sex at birth.

Our DEI and Gender Policy aims for the EUYO community to be truly representative of all sections of society, and protect those within it. It is committed to:

  • Equality, fairness and respect for every member of the EUYO community, without discrimination on any grounds
  • A working and performance environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of the whole EUYO Community are recognised and valued
  • The future generation of the EUYO community, through expansion and non-discriminatory conduct to provide equal access to opportunities whilst taking account of individuals’ experiences and needs. As such, the EUYO community actively seeks to make a change to the environment from which its members are drawn.

Like our Sustainability Action Plan, our DEI and Gender Policy is guided by the principles Learn, Do and Encourage in order to promote a more diverse, fair and equal future with respect to all effects caused by the EUYO community’s work.

I) LEARN – ensuring awareness through constant education of the need for diversity, equity, inclusion and gender equality within the EUYO community.

II) DO – the definition, implementation and regular review of practices in the EUYO community’s activities which contribute to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and gender equality. These include training all EUYO community members as to their rights and responsibilities under this policy, basing staffing and artistic decisions purely on individual merit, competence and potential, and creating safe spaces for all members of the EUYO community.

III) ENCOURAGE – encouraging all partners, organisations and individuals with whom the EUYO community interacts to consider the importance of measures to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and gender equality to deliver sustainable and long-term change.

DEI and Gender Team

Orchestra & National Partner Manager

Alexia Higgs

Head of Executive & Finance

Riitta Hirvonen

Artistic Planning Manager & Executive Coordinator

Stefania Sajeva

Music Library Manager

Michael Shearer