Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

25 Feb 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 115

Feb 25

Diversity Lens - Issue 115

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

 

On Thursday morning, Russian troops launched a full-scale military attack on Ukraine. In Russia since, we've seen images of incredibly brave protesters, speaking out against the military action - at least 1,745 anti-war demonstrators across 54 cities have already been arrested. This is Putin's war, not Russia's. We stand with Ukraine at this time, and everyone affected. We urge everyone else to stay informed, write to your representatives, donate to trusted sources, and protest if you're able.

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"DWP admits it has wrongly refused disabled people benefits at record rate as cost to taxpayers soars"Independent
Someone leaning on another's hand for support

"The FOI data shows that one in five of the 905,870 initial Pip decisions made last year went to mandatory reconsideration, and one in 13 of all initial decisions were overturned at this stage."

The government is discovering a record number of disabled people who were wrongfully denied the disability benefit. Last year, the welfare benefit that is intended to help adults with a disability or long-term health condition, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), overturned nearly 80,000 personal decisions at the initial review stage. While the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) complete mandatory reconsiderations - which could take months - those affected could be stuck without the support they are owed.

One anonymous woman who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, PTSD, and depression applied for a mandatory reconsideration after losing PIP support in November last year and is yet to receive a response. After being on disability benefits since 1996, she received an "unexpected letter" from the DWP in 2021 requesting another assessment, conducted over the phone.

"DWP needs to get decisions right the first time," said Paul Alexander, policy manager at the disability equality charity Scope.

A DWP spokesperson made the defence: "We get decisions right for the majority of PIP claims, and all assessments are carried out by healthcare professionals". The spokesperson reassured those affected that the DWP is exploring what more can be done so the welfare system better meets the needs of disabled people.?

56% of the people who didn't get a mandatory reconsideration and took their case to court were "lapsed" - meaning DWP overturned the decision before it actually got to caught. There are fears, however, that the appeals processes is so arduous that many people will not opt to go through it, “for fear of losing what little support they already have”.
 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Jamal Edwards, YouTube star and SBTV founder, dies aged 31
Jamal Edwards
News of Jamal Edwards' death from an unexpected illness comes this week. Jamal was a hugely influential figure in the UK music business, having founded SBTV, which helped launch the careers of artists such as Dave, Ed Sheeran, Skepta, and Rita Ora. In 2014, the Queen bestowed the MBE on him for his contributions to music. Musicians, business professionals, broadcasters, politicians, and public figures paid tribute to the entrepreneur on social media.
Guidance supporting trans kids scrapped by EHRC after government interference
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has withdrawn recommendations designed to assist UK schools in supporting trans children. The 37-page booklet was created for all primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom. Trans youth who were featured as case studies in the publication lamented that the move could have prevented bullying and its withdrawal has been dubbed "another Section 28," alluding to the 1988 legislation designed to prevent the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools.

“I distinctly remember my colleague saying that Number 10 made line by line changes to the guidance, because they didn’t want it to be too progressive, or too supportive of trans children,” one EHRC lawyer said.

Colombia legalises abortion in move celebrated as 'historic victory' by campaigners
Abortion within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy is no longer illegal in Colombia. The constitutional court of the South American republic ruled by a vote of five to four to decriminalise the procedure. It comes on the heels of a string of legal triumphs in Mexico and Argentina that reduced obstacles to abortion. Previously, abortion was only legal in Colombia if the expectant mother's life or health was in danger, or as a result of rape.
No English and maths GCSE, no university student loan, plans say

New proposed plans are set to disqualify students from student loans if they do not have English and maths GSCEs, or two A-levels at grade E. The intention here is to restrict students attending university if it is not likely it will lead to a career. Controversy has immediately followed with claims this will “turn the clock back” on access to higher education, particularly effecting those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We know that your postcode impacts what grades you get and certain demographics struggle with academic attainment in schools and in university. This is just going to make things even harder for poor kids.”

Jacob, who has a Master’s degree in International Disaster Management but failed English GSCE.

Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
The Inclusive Employer Spotlight: Fiserv
Jumping into the spotlight this week is one of the biggest companies you've never heard of: Fiserv. They recently landed in the UK and are looking for people to join their close-knit team!

Fiserv promotes diversity and inclusion both for themselves, and in their community. They foster a culture led by their values and are committed to a respectful and inclusive workplace. Could you see yourself amongst their team? Take a look at their open roles on Diversifying.io.
 
When your interviewer is a robot
Person working on bed behind a laptop
Have you experienced this odd format of interviewing? Logging onto your virtual interview, met not with a fellow human, but a bot? AI-led interviews have grown in popularity in the last couple of years. In the pro column, there are claims that they can reduce the faults of human bias - yet feedback from candidates is largely negative. The consensus seems to be that sacrificing the ‘human touch’ for robotic efficiency is not a good pay off. 
Pride in Education call for submissions extended to 11th March

One of the largest LGBTIQA+ global inclusion conference in education, Pride in Education, was established in June 2020 to respond to the British Government's cuts in anti HBT (Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic). Pride in Education wants to make sure that everyone who works in education is welcome and celebrated.

Contributions are now open for the June 2022 conference. Please submit a proposal for a presentation on June 25th. Submission deadline is Friday, 11th March 2022. Find out more about past conferences here.

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