Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

02 Apr 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 120

Diversity Lens - Issue 120

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

In this week's newsletter, we're taking a slightly different approach. We know there is a lot of terrible news out there at the moment, and its easy - if not inevitable - to get bogged down by a seemingly never-ending stream of bad news. Today, we're focusing on some positives - even the ones that are born out of a bad situation. We hope these glimmers of hope leave you with some optimism with which to end your Friday. If we can't tempt you to scroll through - just listen to our cultural pick of the week ...trust us!
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Predictably, we love podcasts here at Diversifying, and this one is particularly fascinating. The latest episode of Radiolab, 'The Right Stuff', looks at pairing disability with space travel. Reporter Andrew Leland talks with blind linguistics professor, Sheri Wells-Jensen, and eleven other diversely disabled people who want to prove that not only can people with disabilities go to space, but they might even be better suited to it than the able-bodied. Sheri suggests that disabled people are used to adapting in hostile environments not designed for their needs such as, well, Earth. The conclusion of the experiment is truly awe-inspiring. Listen here.
 
 
"Encanto’s Jessica Darrow declares LGBT+ people the ‘face of Disney’ amid ‘Don’t Say Gay’ backlash"Pink News
Jessica Darrow at the Oscars

“Here I am being queer and gorgeous and I’m on the red carpet"

Disney have been under fire recently for donating to Florida's atrocious 'Don't Say Gay' bill. The Florida bill, which passed into law this week, represents a shocking reversal in LGBTQIA+ rights by effectively banning teachers from talking about any queer issues in the classroom. State governor Ron DeSantis defends the move with the claim students should be getting "an education, not an indoctrination".

The backlash has been huge to this bill, with widespread protests communicating the overriding message that we WILL say gay. Jessica Darrow on the Oscar's red carpet says “Gay! Gay! Gay! And me so gay! And I love to be gay".

The Walt Disney Company has since suspended it's political donations but their workers have staged walkouts over their slow response which initially avoided commenting on the issue. Now however, they say they want the legislation repealed.

Despite the heart-breaking bill passing through this week, public figures and campaigners continue to fight its effects and stand up for the LGBTQIA+ community. Co-host of the Oscars and openly gay woman, Wanda Sykes opened the ceremony with a snipe at the legislation, declaring "for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night.”
 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Majority of US adults support LGBTQ+ issues being taught in schools, survey finds
Despite Florida's backwards 'Don't Say Gay' bill, encouraging figures show widespread support of LGBTQIA+ conversations in US schools. Over 50% of respondents opposed "blocking students from accessing LGBTQ+ resources" on school internet, and agreed libraries should stock resources on gender and sexual identity. According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are currently being put forward across the United States. It is vital to remember however that despite what officials may lead you to believe, public opinion is largely supportive of LGBTQIA+ rights.

"All LGBTQ young people deserve access to safe, affirming learning environments and the health care they need."
Sam Ames, Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

Apple's Coda beats Netflix's The Power of the Dog to historic Oscar win
Coda's Troy Kotsur, who won best supporting actor, with co-star Marlee Matlin
Coda, a film about a hearing teenager growing up in a deaf family, won three Oscars and became the first streaming film to win Best Picture. Coda, meaning Children of Deaf Adults, was praised for its representation of a deaf family and its casting of deaf actors. The film also secured Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Troy Kotsur and Best Adapted Screenplay. Kotsur dedicated his Oscar to "the deaf community, the Coda community and the disabled community", adding: "This is our moment."
Bridgerton is yet another recent example of joyous Tamil girl representation
A still from Bridgerton of the two sisters.
Whatever your feelings on Bridgerton may be, its undeniable that they're doing some ace work on representation. "Growing up, kids in the UK didn’t even know what Tamil was", reports Beulah Rajkumar for Gal-Dem. Tamil people originate from southern India and speak the Tamil language but can be "rendered invisible because of our darker complexion". The two sisters the new Bridgerton season centres on have recently arrived from India and, while never explicitly said, frequent nods are made to the Tamil culture.

"It is rare, and exquisite to see a dark-skinned woman as the romantic lead, loved for her passion and wiles."

Children to receive earlier support in new government plans
The government has announced a new national system to better support children with special educational needs. Last year, 1.4 million pupils in England required special educational support - a figure that's been growing since 2017. Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi outlined their plans to train 5,000 more early-years teachers to be SEN co-ordinators, as well as digitising paperwork for parents to access support more easily. New funding of £70m will prop up these plans. Many remain sceptical of the new proposals and urge for more drastic action. Families are still being consulted on how to shape the new system in a bid "to get this right".
Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
The Inclusive Employer Spotlight: Global
This week, we're delighted to be shining a light on Global, an organisation working hard to create an inclusive culture for everyone. They are committed to serving their diverse audiences by nurturing and celebrating diversity in their people first.

No matter what you look like, where you come from, or what your favourite radio station is, everyone can belong to Global! Find out more about jobs at Global on Diversifying.io.
 
Eight in ten teachers want more help to support transgender students
School children walking with books.
In the UK, teachers are keen to offer more support to their trans pupils. Charity Just Like Us, who conducted the survey, concluded that teachers in England are "crying out for the right resources" to help LGBTQIA+ youth. The report found that nine in ten secondary school teachers and one in four primary school teachers have at least one pupil who has come out as transgender.

"Fostering learning environments that benefit every child’s positive mental health and wellbeing should be our priority."
Kai O’Doherty, the Head of Policy and Research at Mermaids

Diverse boards 'do better on climate'
It is widely reported that diverse teams perform better than homogenous ones, and this is also the case when it comes to achieving climate targets. Financial intelligence and investment firm Arabesque have found that gender diverse boards are making the most progress towards "global climate goals". They reported that the most diverse 20% of the world's 1,000 biggest companies are performing the best. The importance of female leadership has also been highlighted in favour of positive environmental action. 

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