We review the balance of the community once a year, through an annual Studio Community Inclusion Survey which we ask all Residents to complete. Today we are sharing the 2022/23 data. The report outlines what we found out - with some context about the questions we ask and what we share with who.  

Our aim with this report is to continue:

  • to share the existing studio community survey data and the inclusion survey data in a clear and transparent way
  • to invite the studio community to continue to feedback and work with us to ensure we approach this area of work in most inclusive way possible

About this year's numbers

We struggled with the survey this year. We are very conscious of the tensions around asking people we care about lots of questions about their lived experience and personal identity. It is so important to hold ourselves to account for who we are serving and how but (no matter how careful we are) the process can feel reductive and extractive. And this year those tensions feel even more pronounced. Anecdotally we know that many people are fed up with completing surveys - because they don't want to be understood as a data point, because they are tired and busy, because they are struggling to survive in a sector under threat.... While all the time surveys multiply as cultural organisations come under increasing pressure to evidence their work. 

We think that these factors (plus a change in the way that we count our residents) have contributed towards a pretty low response rate of 55%, and that exacerbates our concerns about the numbers. We have always included the ‘Not Knowns’ (people who don't complete the survey) within our overall stats to try and give a really accurate picture - but with a low response rate that means that the data can be quite misleading. Most of the percentages listed are very likely to be underestimates. 

However, despite these misgivings, we are publishing the report today because this isn't Watershed's data, it is our community's data and these tensions are our shared ones. This year we are going to go back to first principles to consider our approach to data collection, and would love to hear from anyone with views and/or ideas. In the meantime, the information people have shared with us so generously is going to be hugely helpful:

  • We think that there is a pretty good balance in terms of Gender, Sexuality and Disability in the Studio community and will work to ensure that everyone feels able to fully participate 
  • It is clear that we have more work to do to ensure that people who are not University educated and/or are from a less privileged socio-economic background can access the Studio  
  • We will continue to work towards a community that is more balanced in terms of Ethnicity, and to overcome any barriers to people's sense of belonging  


Read the full report: Studio Resident Community Inclusion Survey Data 2022/23

Changes in the size of the community, and our response rate makes it quite difficult to compare the data over time easily. However, you can read last year's report, the 2020/21 report or the 5 year review from 2016/17 – 2019/2020 for context. Do get in touch if you would like to talk any of it through (a number of ways to feed back are outlined in the report).

Update on actions from 2023

We take inclusion seriously and recognise that there are still steps on our journey towards providing a fully inclusive environment in our community. Building on last year's report, here are some of the new things that we have done in the last year:


  • Community Conversations are a new quarterly event where we bring people together to discuss issues of shared interest from different perspectives. They are chaired with a clear and careful structure to enable respectful challenge. 
  • At the Annual Gathering we ran group discussions around what it means to be ‘generous and interruptible’ and be part of a ‘community of exchange’. We also held a space for people to come and talk about the Balance and Belonging survey insights. 
  • We continue to support events led by Residents or members of the wider community to take place in the Studio; this year there have been new reading groups, clubs, network meet-ups and socials. 


  • We launched our plan to explore how to bring Resident voices into Studio governance. We are paying two Residents for 10 days to work alongside us in developing a proposal for how our decision making structure can better reflect the make-up of our community.
  • We created and shared a new policy for when we pay Residents for their time and updated the Handbook (which is now more easily accessible on our Resident intranet, link will only work if you are logged in) so this should be clear for everyone
  • We published our Inclusion Framework for Change on the newly created Process section of the Studio website and are building use of this approach into our new big projects. 


  • The Studio team have all had Anti-Racism and White Supremacy training alongside the rest of Watershed staff 
  • Several members of the Studio team (and Watershed Front of House staff) have received Visual Impairment awareness training 
  • We have extended our Inclusive Behaviours (which we introduced to Residents in 2021/22) as part of our inductions for all participants in our programmes. We have also added them to information about our regular events programme and general visitor information.    

Funded programmes

  • We have continued to run the Studio Development Fund, with a strategic aim around increasing representation in the Studio 
  • We have welcomed younger and older people with an interest in creative technology into the Studio via the Connecting through Cultures As We Age and Make Shift Camp and meet ups 
  • A number of the MyWorld Fellowships have focussed on questions of inclusion (for example Clarice Hilton’s work on Disability focussed design in VR), these Fellows have become Associate Residents of the Studio