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Gender Equality & Dignity Policy

The Gate Theatre is proud to be partnering with nine of Ireland’s leading theatres and organisations in the “Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre” working group to address and rebalance the gender equality deficiencies within Irish theatre.

Along with our partners, we are introducing policies to ensure that gender equality is front of mind, implemented and becomes the norm. Below, you’ll find our Gender Equality and Dignity Policy which outlines our commitments.


Artist-led visionary thinking has guided the Gate Theatre since its foundation in 1928. The theatre we make is always in conversation with the world today and our responsibility is to reflect on our stage the rich diversity of the society around us. We celebrate diversity and freedom of expression and our aim is to lead a cultural conversation in our pursuit of excellence – deepening local, national and international relationships across generations, cultures and disciplines.

The Dublin of today, indeed the Ireland of today, is one that demands accountability, fairness and equality. In recent years a new awareness and energy has been created around the arts in this country, shaped by movements like Waking The Feminists (WTF) in Ireland and by a ground-swell of support and shifting of consciousness across the industry globally.

At the Gate, we are critically and carefully assessing our roles as an employer, a forward-thinking leader in the arts community, a producing house and a public theatre space. We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that both our policies and the ways in which we work reflect our commitment to being an open, inclusive, fair and transparent organisation.

We believe that equality and diversity in the workplace not only benefits individual employees but enables us to better reflect the world around us, enhances our connection with our audiences, deepens our links to the community within which we work and contributes immeasurably to the success of our organisation as a whole.

We are committed to treating people fairly, valuing diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity in all areas of our work. In order to achieve this, we will proactively recognise and remove barriers which people from all backgrounds may face in their efforts to engage with the Gate on any level. Below, we have outlined our commitment to ensure gender equality and greater diversity across the theatre.

This policy sits within the Gate Theatre’s Employees Handbook and will be reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the law, best practice and other relevant factors.


In order to move toward gender equality and greater diversity across the organisation, we commit to:

1.Ensuring gender equality and increased diversity among Gate staff across departments

Without prejudice to fair offers of employment, when full or part-time positions become available at the Gate, we seek to encourage a diverse range of applicants. While we are committed to honouring existing contracts of employment, our aim is to ensure gender equality and increased diversity in all areas of the organisation over a rolling five year period from June 2017.

This will be achieved by broadening the channels through which positions are publicised and clearly defining job specifications, candidate requirements and terms of employment.

This will be monitored through a quarterly analysis of all our contracts – permanent and temporary.

It is the job of the Executive Director to monitor and report on gender equality and diversity in the workplace. These findings will be presented to the Director of the Gate on a monthly basis and to the Board of the Gate at each quarterly Board meeting. This work will be benchmarked from June 2017 and continue over a rolling five year period.

2. Reflecting gender equality across our artistic programming

We are dedicated to ensuring gender equality across our artistic programme and we will work to ensure that male and female creatives and crew are afforded equal opportunities in Gate productions, specifically in the roles of directors, composers, designers, lighting designers, costume designers, sound designers, choreographers, actors and musicians.

We commit to gender equality in the new work commissioning process. In addition, we commit to increasing gender equality in the traditionally male dominated canon through commissioning female playwrights to re-imagine and respond to this work through adaptations, translations, etc. Both of these commitments are contingent on working with our funders in an effort to secure the resources necessary to facilitate this work.

It is the job of the Director and the Executive Director to monitor this in programme planning, working towards realising this objective. Relevant data will be presented to the Board of the Gate at each quarterly Board meeting. This work will be benchmarked from June 2017 and continue over a rolling five year period.

3. Removing the barriers that may limit a diverse and balanced talent pool

We recognise that in order to be able to fulfil the commitments we are making with regard to gender balance and the promotion of diversity in the Gate, we need to assemble a diverse and balanced workforce. This is dependent on the availability of talented individuals to fill these roles.

We are committed to working with our partners in the arts and education sectors to raise awareness of the career opportunities on offer in theatre and to eliminate real and perceived barriers to work in this field.

This will be achieved by holding annual reviews with educational institutions and other arts organisations to find ways of encouraging applications from under-represented sectors.

4. Equal pay

Staff will be remunerated according to agreed pay scales and the experience level of the individual, without exception and regardless of gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other potentially discriminating factor.

5. Building a balanced Board

By the end of 2019, we commit to gender balance on the Board of the Gate Theatre. Gender equality will be scheduled as a Board agenda item on a quarterly basis.

6. Embedding the principles of gender equality and diversity in the Gate Theatre’s Five-Year Strategy

Gender equality and diversity will be embedded in our Strategic Plan. These principles have already been embedded into a number of the organisation’s key documents, including the Employees Handbook, and will continue to form a key part of our strategic aims.

7. Transparency in all that we do

We will publish our annual figures and report back on our progress in relation to the above commitments to ensure accountability and focus on our goals.

8. Benchmarking

Waking The Feminists Breakdown
The Outsider Season 1 Breakdown
Female Directors 8% 80%
Female Writers 6% 33%
Female Set Designers 26% 44%
Female Lighting Designers 13% 33%
Female Sound Designers 1% 44%
Female Costume Designers 60% 56%
Female Cast 40% 40%


The Outsider Season 1 Breakdown
No of Plays Performed 10
No of Premiers & New Writing 5
No of Creatives Employed 59
Gate Debuts (Actors & Creatives) 68
Gate Debuts (Actors Only) 41
New Works Under Commission 0
No of Accessible Performances 10


This policy will be reviewed annually and comprehensively reviewed at the end of year five to ensure it remains practical, relevant and appropriate.

This policy is available to download in PDF here