Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

29 Apr 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 123

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

Happy Lesbian Visibility Week! Did you catch our TikTok? We think it's one of our best.

In all seriousness though, tired stereotypes of lesbians still plague the community, and discourage many from feeling comfortable disclosing their identity, particularly in the workplace. Off-hand comments, such as those we expose in our TikTok, are both boring and inappropriate. With lesbians and bisexual people less satisfied at work than their heterosexual counterparts, we urge individuals to reflect on their behaviour, and organisations to review their inclusive working policies.
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Heartstopper, Netflix

Heartstopper is a teen romance drama between two boys in an English Grammar School. The innocence of it fills a much needed space for teens to openly question their sexuality amongst their peers. Previous portrayals such as Queer as Folk, Skins and more recently Euphoria, have been quick to hypersexualise such a narrative. Instead, Heartstopper captures intimacy and infatuation with simple gestures. It's innovative enough for a same sex relationship in school to be a possibility, but not naïve enough to assume that this does not come without its problems. It can be a bittersweet watch for viewers that craved this representation in their teens but don't let that discourage you from embracing it now.
 
"Sexist Tory attacks on Angela Rayner ‘stink of classism’"The Independent
Angela Rayner

“It’s an attempt to reduce a powerful female MP to a sexual object, to ridicule and berate her."

The Mail on Sunday article that suggested Angela Rayner was attempting to distract the Prime Minister by “crossing and uncrossing her legs” has caused outrage this week. Such open misogyny is a stark reminder of the nonsensical barriers women must jump over to be taken seriously within the patriarchy.

Rayner was accused of re-enacting a scene from the 1993 film Basic Instinct; but amazingly, this was not the first time a female MP has drawn such a comparison - Conservative MP Lucy Fraser was put through a similar vilification in 2016 by the tabloids.

While these accusations are tired and entirely ludicrous, the fact such a claim can be made by Tory MPs, and ran as a headline, is not funny.
Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, rightly said it's “as dangerous as it is stupid”. This kind of sexist rhetoric isn't a bit of harmless ribbing, it's indicative of a culture within politics and beyond where women's presence can be reduced to a sexual object. The power they are seen to yield is duplicitous, irrevocable from their body and appearance. Would a man ever be spoken about in this way?

This story is the latest in a string that represents parliament as a hostile place for women. Jemima Olchawski, chief executive of Fawcett Society, warns that women are being dissuaded from following a political career when we desperately need more female voices. Boris Johnson has condemned the story.
 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Majority of lesbians delay coming out because of tired, harmful stereotypes, research finds
In anticipation of Lesbian Visibility Week, Just Like Us polled 643 UK lesbians and found that because of damaging perceptions, 68 percent of lesbians delay coming out. For those between the ages of 18 and 24, the greatest obstacle was the over-sexualization of lesbians. "I didn’t really know how to talk to people about it, because the word lesbian is so tied to sex and pornography,” said Pippa, a Just Like Us volunteer from London.

"The word lesbian was often used as an insult, so it was difficult to come to terms with being a lesbian when most of what I had heard about them was in a negative light."

Why the police in England and Wales must do more than just learn lessons
Person holds a placard reading 'end stop and search'
Police accountability. Is it happening enough? And what should it look like?

In March of this year, the Police Superintendents’ Association claimed that "too great an emphasis on discipline" had led to a blame culture in which officers were too fearful of making mistakes. It's a bold stance to take considering the amount of mistakes that are still plaguing the reputation of the force. Most complaints are still handled internally and it is largely a subjective decision whether an incident should result in a "lesson-learning response or a disciplinary process," allowing no small amount of discretion. A fine line remains between calling out problematic behaviour, and perpetuating it when these decisions are made from within the current system.
MPs launch survey on body image and mental health
Members of Parliament have undertaken a poll to determine the impact of body image on physical and mental health. The Health and Social Care Committee will incorporate it into its investigation into the impact of the NHS on body image. During the first session in March, guitarist James Brittain-McVey of The Vamps spoke to MPs about being coerced into undergoing liposuction at the age of 20. The next session will feature presentations from doctors, researchers, and individuals who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder.
Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
The Inclusive Employer Spotlight: TikTok
Not just an app on teenagers’ phones, TikTok is a vibrant, innovative organisation that celebrates trends and embraces diversity. With a global reach and offices on every continent, they are at the heart of new ideas and inventive content - no matter who you are or where you’re from, there’s something for you on TikTok!

Find out more about their work culture and open roles on Diversifying.io.
Disability pay gap sees disabled workers earn £1.93 per hour less than non-disabled employees
New reports have found that disabled workers are paid 13.8% less on average than non-disabled workers. We hear, rightly, a lot about the gender pay gap but other disparities are just as stark. There have long been demands for mandatory disability and ethnicity pay gap reporting, just like with gender. Notably, the disability gap has been on an upward trajectory since 2014, exacerbated by the pandemic, meaning that a shocking 40% of people with a disability are now considered in "financial hardship". The responsibility to mitigate this lies with the government.

"It’s time for big employers to be forced to publish their disability pay gaps, to help shine a light on poor workplace practices that fuel inequality at work. Otherwise, millions of disabled workers will continue to face lower pay and in-work poverty.”

The Argument for Location-Based Salaries Is Falling Apart
Location compensation policies are flawed. It has long been a norm, particularly in the tech industry, to offer salaries dependent on "competitive market rates" in each country, or city. This, perhaps surprisingly, does not always correspond to living costs of the area. With remote working taking off, is this the fairest way to determine compensation? Location-based pay discrepancies are often shrouded in mystery due to cultures that dissuade employees from discussing wages. Social media management platform, Buffer, have consolidated their salary formula into just two 'cost-of-living bands' and aim to eventually eliminate location as a component altogether. 

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