Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

11 Apr 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 121

Diversity Lens - Issue 121

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

There is a concerning amount of anti-trans rhetoric circulating in the news this week. For trans people, we know this can be exhausting to constantly have your rights questioned and turned into a debate. This week conversion therapy bans explicitly exclude trans children, the government cancelled its first global LGBTQIA+ conference, and there were bans on trans athletes.

We stand with the transgender community by saying a ban that excludes trans people is not a ban at all. We've used this link to email our local MP in under 60 seconds, have you?
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Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism | BBC

A documentary released this week addresses a new drug which could 'cure' achondroplasia - the most common form of dwarfism. Presented by multiple gold medal-winning Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, we are asked to consider the implications of a drug that has the potential to eradicate dwarfism, and hypothetically by extension all kinds of disabilities. Simmonds explores the effect Vosoritide is already having - chatting with children, parents, and teammate Will Perry, who also has achondroplasia.
 
"There’s no good reason to ban trans women from sports, according to science and experts"Pink News
Emily Bridges pictured posing on bike.

"A person’s genetic make-up and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance”

Boris Johnson added his voice to the frustrating debate on trans women in sports this week. “I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events,” he told Sky News, despite being "immensely sympathetic to people who want to transition".

Johnson's unprompted discussion of trans athletes comes just as a trans cyclist was barred from competing "despite meeting the body’s eligibility criteria for trans athletes."

Trans people are already dissuaded from participating in sports, and Johnson's 'off the cuff' remarks are not a helpful addition to the discussion. Doctors, academics, and sports psychologists tend to agree that bans on trans athletes will "balloon an apparent problem that doesn’t exist".
There are many physiological differences that give people advantages in sports such as height or body shape, or environmental factors such as access to better resources. Testosterone, most discussed in trans female athletes, does not always have a correlation with athletic ability.

The policing of how women's bodies should look or operate is a dangerous rhetoric to push, affecting trans and cisgender women alike such as Caster Semenya who was told she can only compete if she alters her natural hormone production.

Semenya, and LGBTQIA+ Stonewall, advocate for a 'case-by-case' approach, rather than a blanket ban.
 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Stonewall and 80 LGBTQ groups pull out of government conference over trans conversion U-turn
As the UK government backtracks on plans to criminalise conversion therapy in a U-turn for trans people, the LGBTQIA+ charity Stonewall and 80 other organisations have withdrawn their support for the government's Safe To Be Me conference. "Due to the Prime Minister's broken promise on protecting trans people from the harms of conversion therapy, we regret that we are withdrawing support," Stonewall stated. Government legislation will deem gay conversion therapy illegal, but the same practice for trans people will be permitted, according to Downing Street. Help ban conversion therapy by using this template to email your MP - it takes under a minute.
Choose Love: Run for Ramadan

Our friends at Choose Love support refugees and displaced people from around the globe, but the majority of the communities they serve are Muslim. Choose Love COO, Cherno Jagne, will run 150km this Ramadan (whilst fasting!) to fundraise for their Afghanistan appeal. Cherno's efforts were recently covered by The Huffington Post - and you can support the campaign too! Walk, jog, cycle or run for Ramadan this year and share this page to encourage donations.

People living in Afghanistan are still facing unthinkable circumstances. Your support could provide food baskets, medical supplies, and help for refugees arriving in the UK. Find out more.

"We have seen with the situation in Ukraine that when we come together and act quickly, we can provide lifesaving services to those fleeing unimaginable circumstances. We cannot be selective about who deserves support and the lives of human beings share the same value."

National Insurance rise comes into force as cost of living squeeze bites hard
On April 6, the national insurance rate increased by 1.25 percent. The tax rise comes at a catastrophic time during a widely accepted cost of living crisis. While millions are already struggling to make ends meet amid rising food, fuel and energy costs, this additional blow to pay checks is extremely concerning. The covid-19 crisis has pushed many families into poverty; in 2021 a think tank found that London has an in-work poverty rate of 22% – the highest in the country. As this crisis continues, these figures are only going to be exacerbated. With this backdrop, Boris Johnson declares he has "absolutely no problem" with raising National Insurance.
Why are there so few black school governors?
Students in class wearing a face mask
According to a Governorhub poll, just 8% of school governors and trustees come from a black or ethnic minority background. The numbers follow the public outcry created by the case of Child Q, which led calls for more diverse school governing boards. More than half of the governors who replied to the study were 55 or older, with over a third being 65 or older. According to Department of Education data, 33.6% of students come from a minority ethnic background, yet up to 90% of governors and trustees identify as white. School governing boards should represent the diversity of student bodies, and more work must be done to make this possible.

"Students need to see themselves in their governors, and people who’ve gone through similar experiences to them”

Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
The inclusive employer spotlight: Shelter
Not only are Shelter strong advocates for housing as a fundamental human need, they’re also deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion – both in their work, and within their organisation. And that’s why we love working with them!

Are you ready to make change happen and help end homelessness? Browse open roles at Shelter on Diversifying.io.
 
Person sat at their laptop, looking dispirited with their head rested on their hand.
While the glamorisation of 'hustle culture' has waned, work-related stress has not. With the cost of living continuing to rise and the boundary between home and work blurred, it is difficult to know when to slow down, stop and take some time back for yourself. It's a danger sign when we begin to link our self-worth with our productivity; perhaps you feel guilty when you don't finish your to-do list, or tend to work through your lunch break? ”Your value as a person is not defined by your work output”, Floss, psychotherapist and CEO of UK Therapy Guide, says. Remember to set clear boundaries, take small breaks often, go for walks and don't forget to breathe.
Ramadan: How to support employees, friends and colleagues in the Muslim holy month
Practicing Muslims will likely be fasting during their entire working hours this month and there are small things we can do to support them. Many employers will not address Ramadan at all, but just acknowledging the month and how this may affect staff can go a long way. Flexible working hours and working from home and can be hugely beneficial during Ramadan, or reaching out to your employees to see how you can support them individually is a good idea. Yasmin, for example, was denied a request to work through her lunch break and finish earlier because “it’s just not the done thing”. This is an example of an easy fix for an employer to grant.

“There’s all this talk about inclusive work environments but then this doesn’t always materialise into real and legitimate action that could properly benefit employees in the workplace.”

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