Royal Irish Academy of Music

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion

Message from Prof. Deborah Kelleher, RIAM Director, on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion at RIAM:

At RIAM we are at the beginning of a long journey of embedding diversity and inclusion into the core of what we do. Our mission is to be a safe and supportive environment for all who work and study with us. As we consider our place within the European and international conservatoire communities, we want to ensure that we are adapting, innovating and inspiring excellence while fostering positive relationships with our staff, students and stakeholders. 

As part of this commitment, we are delighted to have enlisted the help of inclusion expert Dr Enya Doyle, who will advise us on our journey. Dr Doyle has a wealth of knowledge and experience in carrying out inclusion research, audits and training within the arts and education sectors, particularly in music. She is currently undertaking an audit of our data and the culture across our six learner groups, encompassing both staff and students. Dr Doyle will also help us to establish and roll out a clear DEAI roadmap based on her findings.

Equality and Diversity Policy

The Royal Irish Academy of Music welcomes and promotes an inclusive working and learning environment based on the principles of equality, dignity and respect.

It is the Academy’s policy that individuals are afforded equality in how they are treated, in terms of their working/educational life, and in access to services available from or through the Academy. Any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation will not be tolerated.

This policy applies to:

  • All registered students;
  • All applications for student places;
  • All employees, all applications for employment, and all persons who are engaged for work by the Academy (e.g. contractors);
  • All visitors, customers and clients of the Academy

This policy relates to:

  • the provision of all services to such students, including teaching and supervision, assessment, progression, and award and support services;
  • all decisions in respect of the admission of students;
  • all areas of employment practice including recruitment and selection, training and development, progression (including promotion), pay, employment conditions and retention;
  • all services provided by the Academy in its diverse activities, both internal and external.

The concept of equality is central to the Academy’s ethos of achieving excellence across all of its activities and ensuring that its students and staff reach their full potential. A diverse community of staff and students where people are encouraged to feel valued will lead to a more creative environment which affords artistic, educational, and social benefits.

The Academy strives to promote equality and to ensure that staff and students from a variety of backgrounds are present within its community. The Academy promotes positive working relationships through which all members, students, staff and service users are valued and respected. The Academy is committed to ensure that that inequality and discrimination, if they occur, will be appropriately and effectively dealt with.

The most up-to-date Equality and Diversity Policy documents can be found here.


Keychange for DEAI

Keychange is an initiative developed by the PRS Foundation to encourage festivals and music organisations to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. Our Keychange pledges include:

  • Achieve 50:50 gender balance across RIAM visiting artists
  • Achieve 50:50 gender balance across composers performed by RIAM’s performing groups
  • Maintain 50:50 gender balance on RIAM’s Governing Body
  • Maintain 50:50 gender balance on all RIAM academic committees
Certified Proud for DEAI

RIAM is Certified Proud!

Each Certified Proud member organisation agrees to operate under a set of guidelines which ensure equality, respect and dignity for LGBTQ+ employees and customers called “The Certified Proud Principles”.

To make respect a priority, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity; all employees and customers will be treated with dignity.

To create professional environments where treatment of all staff and customers is the same, ensuring everyone is given equal opportunity.

To offer both customers and staff a positive environment which actively embraces difference, emphasises dignity and rejects stigma.

To contribute to the complete elimination of societal inequality and proactively promote equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals.

To appreciate that being Certified Proud means time, dedication, understanding and responsibility to the LGBTQ+ community, all year round.

To encourage accountability and responsibility throughout the workplace to ensure the safety of all LGBTQ+ staff and customers.

To increase positive representation of LGBTQ+ people in public life, to highlight issues affecting the community and give a voice to the marginalised in businesses across Ireland.


Following a DEAI audit of RIAM activities in 2021, a roadmap was produced to provide a direction of travel for the Royal Irish Academy of Music journey towards greater diversity, equity, inclusion and access. The roadmap includes short, medium and long-term goals aimed at supporting the workforce to engage in training and to feel supported, making Junior RIAM a more inclusive experience, providing a more supportive and pluralistic experience for tertiary students, and connecting meaningfully with the wider RIAM community through outreach, RIAM Exams, and partnerships.

The working group for DEAI Roadmap includes:

  • Deborah Kelleher, Director
  • Lynsey Callaghan, Head of Programmes, Research and Academics
  • Brendan Breslin, Head of RIAM Connect
  • Ross Lyness, Head of Junior RIAM
  • Padraig Rynn, Senior Staff Office, 3rd & 4th Level Office
  • Ruth Meehan, HR & Finance Officer
  • Mark Mark Mahoney, Marketing Manager