Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

22 Apr 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 122

Apr 22

Diversity Lens - Issue 122

Welcome to Diversity Lens

Did you rest and recharge last weekend? It seems obvious to say but breaks for many are a breath of fresh air and a chance to reflect on their mental health at work. One of the many challenges we face in an ever-distant model of work is reporting workplace bullying. Workplace bullying should not be tolerated, full stop.

However simply stating this doesn’t stop people from being fearful of losing their jobs and reputation when reporting bullying. Whilst we can’t know all the ins and outs of every workplace, companies such as the BFI, that are highlighting this issue publicly, help us to talk about it more. For many of you that are going through a toxic experience at work, think about where you can find the power to report it, work through it, or exit the situation. Everyone should be able to find a workplace where they are accepted: that change starts with you.
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White Hot: The Rise And Fall Of Abercrombie & Fitch

This shiny new Netflix documentary is a fascinating exploration into a brand that built itself on exclusivity, and how that one vision got them in hot water with a public beginning to demand better. The Abercrombie & Fitch vision was cool, natural, all-American - in their eyes this meant slim, attractive and white. Everything in-store had to align to this 'look'; if you didn't have it, you were kept in the store room or working late cleaning shifts.

But what happens when exclusion stops being cool?
 
"Home Office staff threaten mutiny over ‘shameful’ Rwanda asylum deal"
The Guardian

“This grubby cash-for-people plan would be a cowardly, barbaric and inhumane way to treat people fleeing persecution and war” Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive of Refugee Action

Last week the government announced plans for refugees arriving in the UK “illegally” to be permanently resettled in Rwanda. An early YouGov poll found that 35% of people liked this plan and 20% liked it a lot. Can this proposal really go ahead?

The number of critics against the Rwanda plan is mounting: the Archbishop of Canterbury, Theresa May, Refugee Council and the UNCHR to name a few. Now, Home Office staff are threatening to strike. However Boris Johnson continues to incomprehensibly defend the plan as “morally right”. The reference to morality here is a huge stretch. One anonymous Home Office employee asks, “Do we have a responsibility to not just leave, but to organise and resist?"

The sheer possibility of relocating people to East Africa who have made a treacherous journey to claim asylum in the UK is absurd.

These are desperate people who are fleeing their country by any means possible to gain safety. It is the height of heartlessness to send them thousands of miles away in a country less equipped to support them; with less room to accommodate them; with significant less wealth; and with very real human rights concerns.

Priti Patel claims that no other viable alternatives are available. Simon Hoare, the MP for North Dorset, suggests: “A safe route clearly would kill the evil traffic of people-smuggling at a stroke."

Labour's Yvette Cooper's describes the asylum plan as an "unworkable, shameful and desperate attempt to distract from the prime minister's law breaking" - watch her powerful speech challenging Patel.

You can email your MP to voice your concerns here.
 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
‘The majority of teachers feel they don’t know how to teach a deaf child’
Mother reading to her son as he listens intently.
The National Deaf Children’s Society is calling for change. They're asking the government to introduce deaf awareness training into all teacher training programmes. Currently, virtually no training is provided, meaning that most teachers are at a loss of how to teach a deaf child, and where to go for support and resources. Four out of five deaf children go to mainstream schools and currently deaf children tend to fall a grade behind at GSCE level. Deafness is not a learning difficulty, but the lack of know-how from teachers and inability to adapt teaching methods is failing children.
Ukrainian workers flee ‘modern slavery’ conditions on UK farms
Dozens of Ukrainians have fled farms where they were employed, with many claiming to have been subjected to modern-day slavery. The seasonal worker visa scheme, which was launched in 2019 to harvest fruit and vegetables, hasn't been a success due to poor working conditions. One farmer detailed how during their time on a cherry farm, they were not allowed to wear gloves, leading to their hands bleeding and skin peeling off. Many farmers are left helpless as a result of the war in Ukraine, with no option to return home and no financial support from the UK government.

“Nobody cares what happens to seasonal workers. I thought our rights would be well protected in the UK but this has not happened. Working on the farm is probably one of the worst experiences and worst treatment of my life.”
One Ukrainian worker on a cherry farm

Royal British Legion apologises for past LGBTQ+ discrimination
The Royal British Legion (RBL) has apologised for its previous refusal to recognise the sacrifices of LGBTQIA+ British military members. The statement by the charity's director general, Charles Byrne, reads: “I am deeply saddened by your previous experience with the charity, and I can only apologise on RBL’s behalf for not responding and the discrimination shown at the time.” The statement was in response to a letter from well-known human rights advocate Peter Tatchell, who reminded the RBL late last year that he had previously written to them in 2007 to voice his dissatisfaction with the persistent lack of apology.
Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
The Inclusive Employer Spotlight: Arbor
Our featured employer this week is Arbor Education. Serving a broad and diverse community, they want to make sure they build the best products for their customers - and believe it all starts from within.

They’re working hard to build a diverse, inclusive workforce - so if you believe in making the world better for future generations, this might be the place for you!

Find out more on Diversifying.io.
'People fear for their jobs if they report bullies'
Bullying and toxic behaviour is still a big issue in the film and television industry, with more than half of people in a recent survey saying they had experienced bullying at work in the last year. Bafta winning director Brian Hill is trying to address this through his short film, Toxic, while Matt Longley wants to change the culture “from the inside” with his company Six Ft From the Spotlight. Matt is running a pilot scheme of “wellbeing facilitators” with the British Film Institute and their head of inclusion, Jennifer Smith, hopes it will become ‘normalised across the industry”.

You can watch Toxic here.

"People are frightened to reveal themselves, because they think they'll be blacklisted and won't get jobs if they report bullies at work"

The end of sick days: has WFH made it harder to take time off?
Person sits on bed in the pyjamas working on a tablet.
Working from home has transformed how we work, for good and bad. We know productivity has sky rocketed, but are we still taking the time off when we need it? The tools that have aided us in working so effectively from our own homes, can also entangle us in feelings of obligation to continue working through sickness, after all what's attending one Zoom meeting? Or getting some emails out the way? The notion of 'powering through' is something we need to stop in its tracks - just because you can lie in your bed, sniffling over your laptop, doesn't mean you should!
A quarter of workers fear they are not saving enough in their pension
According to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, those in low-income households, women, and many people between the ages of thirty and forty are concerned about their pensions when they retire. Long-term worries might stem from a variety of factors, including the pandemic's impact, escalating prices, the economy, and, most recently, the war in Ukraine. The study reveals a gap between what Britons expect and what they could get.

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