Arts staff in Ireland to receive workshops on sexual harassment

Arts staff in Ireland to receive workshops on sexual harassment

Senior staff and board members of arts organisations across Ireland will be requested to take part in special workshops on sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace, according to a new initiative by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

The introduction of the workshops comes in light of sexual harassment allegations being directed at former Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Michael Colgan.

The controversy surrounding the recent allegations has pressured Ms Humphreys into preparing a suite of measures on workplace harassment in relation to organisations reporting to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

A statement from the department stated; “The workshops will deal with governance in general, with a particular focus on the role of the board, the board’s relationship with the executive and their respective legal responsibilities,” said a statement.

There will be an emphasis on issues relating to “bullying, abuse of power and sexual harassment in the workplace”.

Minister Humphreys has also invited the heads of eight leading theatres – including the Abbey and Gate theatres – to meet with her and the Arts Council next week to “discuss ways in which the department and the Arts Council together can support the sector in creating a safe culture and environment for those working in the industry.”

Michael Colgan is expected to issue a statement regarding the allegations in the coming days.