The Limits of What We Can Do

Since Christmas, we have been inundated by people contacting us about bad job adverts. We have also been scanning the job listing ourselves, and despairing at the state of what we see. Our sector clearly still has a long way to go before equitable recruitment practices can be described as the norm. There is so much out there that needs to be challenged, and robustly so. But we cannot tackle everything.

We are frustrated that we cannot tackle every issue. We are frustrated that many recruiters have ignored us. We are frustrated that many have disagreed with us, and see no problems with the structures of inequality that they help to propagate. We are frustrated that our commitment to transparency, and discussing our campaigns in a public forum, has been interpreted as rudeness. We are frustrated that so many of you have contacted us with the problems that you have seen, but we have not been able to act.

A11

 

We are only a small team, who are running this project in our spare time. It has taken its toll on our wellbeing, and tested our resilience. Museum work often encourages us to do more, be more and achieve more. At Fair Museum Jobs, we want to be realistic and responsible about what we as individuals can offer to the sector while still having non-work lives. We encourage everyone to be open about their challenges and resilience and find support when needed. Looking after your own wellbeing is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

For us, setbacks feel like personal attacks, and the victories seem few. We worry about getting into trouble with our employers. We worry about how effective our efforts are. We worry if we are doing the right thing.

The support of our subscribers has been invaluable. It has lifted our spirits and warmed our hearts. If you believe in what we are doing, please keep telling us, and keep amplifying our message.

Please do not be disappointed with us if we cannot fight every campaign to conclusion or deal with every complaint. But we are not going away. Our movement grows by the day, and our will to fight remains. Do not be afraid to call out unfair practices for yourselves; call on us and we will aid you if we can. Our mission requires many voices, not just ours.

We all have work to do. But the winds are in our favour as well sail into changing seas. New technology and social media has let everyone across the museum sector talk to each other like never before. Regardless of hierarchy, we can all share with the world our experiences, opinions and calls for change.

Together, we can propagate the fairness, equitability and diversity that it needs to flourish. Together, we will win.

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