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26 Nov 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 104

Nov 26

Diversity Lens - Issue 104

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

As the end of 2021 is fast approaching and some of us will be spending time with our families, in this issue we highlight how to navigate and handle potential body shaming and harmful food and diet talks.

On a positive note, we feature a London-based social enterprise that uses floristry to help asylum-seeking and refugee women rebuild their lives.

Do you have any good news stories? Please share them with us!
New bill quietly gives powers to remove British citizenship without notice
The Guardian
A bill was updated earlier this month, which allows the government to strip British nationals of their citizenship without any notice.

Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, was quietly added and gives the government and the Home Office even more power.

Some people are worried about this change and believe that an individual has the right to know a decision before their rights are affected.

One of them was Frances Webber, the vice-chair of the Institute of Race Relations, who said: “This amendment sends the message that certain citizens, despite being born and brought up in the UK and having no other home, remain migrants in this country."
Human rights groups have called the measures draconian and dangerous and believe the law will particularly affect those from ethnic minority backgrounds and Muslims.

Others believe that this is purely scaremongering and good citizens have nothing to fear.

The Home Office said: “British citizenship is a privilege, not a right. Deprivation of citizenship on conducive grounds is rightly reserved for those who pose a threat to the UK or whose conduct involves very high harm. The nationality and borders bill will amend the law so citizenship can be deprived where it is not practicable to give notice, for example if there is no way of communicating with the person.”
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
'Tis the season for triggering comments about food and weight

This story includes trigger warnings about food and weight. If you or a loved one are struggling with eating disorders, contact the National Centre for Eating Disorder Help - NCFED.

Because the Christmas season revolves so much around food, it can be a minefield of triggers for those who struggle with body image — and that may be especially true this year. Relatives we haven’t seen since lockdown might not realise what nearly two years of anxiety and isolation have done to our bodies. This article reviews advice from Christy Querol, a Chicago-based psychologist, about how to navigate the harmful food and diet talk that can emerge during the holidays.

While you can’t control what your loved ones say, you can control how you manage it. Read Querol’s advice on what to do before, during, and after a holiday gathering in which you anticipate triggering food and diet talk.

"They can convince you that your entire worth is tied to your weight, eclipsing any other valuable qualities you possess."

MP Nadia Whittome on the urgent need for trans allyship: ‘There is no LGB without the T’

"There is no LGB without the T”, says Labour MP Nadia Whittome, who believes that the LGBTQ+ community needs to show more solidarity towards its trans members.

There’s a lot of inequality that trans members face from the healthcare system, hate crime and even employment. One in three employers openly admit that they would not hire a trans person.

Trans activists have historically had to fight for their specific demands and concerns to be platformed by many LGBTQ+ groups. Stonewall, the largest and oldest LGBTQ+ organisation in Europe recognised this, apologised and promised to do better.

Sir Geoff Palmer becomes Scotland’s first black university chancellor

Scotland’s first black professor, Sir Geoff Palmer, has been installed as the new chancellor of Heriot Watt university.

The historic appointment, officially announced earlier this year, makes Palmer, 81, the country’s first university chancellor of African Caribbean heritage. His new role will involve representing the university in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity, presiding over graduations and academic awards.

The distinguished academic has a long association with Heriot Watt. He was accepted for a PhD in grain science and technology there in 1965 when it was part of Edinburgh University.

Bread and Roses, a London-based social enterprise, is using floristry to help displaced women overcome many challenges.

The nine-week programme gives the women a chance to learn new skills such as floristry, vocational and English skills and building new networks.

Bread and Roses are doing so well that the founders are looking to expand in 2022 and deliver programmes outside of London as all operations are currently only London-based.

Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Employees score Europe's companies on diversity
The Financial Times has published its third annual Diversity Leaders ranking at a time when chief executives are trying stem an outflow of workers in what has been dubbed the “Great Resignation” as employees increasingly question the relevance of their jobs — therefore placing greater emphasis on the importance of company culture and businesses’ ability to retain talent.

This year’s Diversity Leaders were identified between April and August 2021 through an independent survey across 16 European countries. The views of typically under-represented groups including women, workers over the age of 50, and the ethnically diverse were given more weight in the survey. 


"The survey of more than 100,000 employees, conducted by our research partner Statista, assesses employees’ perception of companies’ inclusiveness or efforts to promote various aspects of diversity."

Mark Mullen who has led Atom Bank since 2014 said the new work pattern was inspired by the pandemic and would help improve wellbeing and retain staff.

Calls for a four day work week have been increasing with claims that it could improve people's lives. Recent research in many countries such as Iceland and Japan was an "overwhelming success".

However, some employers believe compressing work into a Monday-Thursday window could negatively affect the wellbeing of some workers and harm customer service and productivity.

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