Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

Jul 18 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 133

Welcome to Diversity Lens.

Despite the recent momentum towards establishing more inclusive workplaces for all employees, it seems employers are struggling to root out bullying behaviour. Working from home and hybrid working options have been revolutionary in so many positive ways, but we're still figuring the nuts and bolts out. Employers have a duty of care over their team and tools may need adapting and developing in this new era of the digital workplace. Furthermore, each and every one of us has a responsibility to look out for our colleagues and reach out if something isn't right.
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Film: Thor: Love and Thunder

*This review contains spoilers*

Thor: Love and Thunder burst on the scene last week as fan favourites Thor and Valkyrie team up with an old friend to take down a villain out for revenge. Fans have eagerly waited to see if the character Valkyrie will be canonically queer in this movie as well as the comics. Fans were not disappointed; Valkyrie was confirmed queer and had a brief flirtation scene with a God from Omnipotence City. In addition, Korg reveals that his species, the Kronans, reproduce by the males holding hands over pools of lava until a new baby is created, and at the end of the film falls in love with another male Kronan. However, fans are hoping that this is just a step forward into a wider display of more queer characters, due to the overwhelming heteronormativity of the MCU in the last fifteen years.

 
 
"A Record Number Of MPs Of Colour

Have Stood For Prime Minister. This Is

How People Feel About It"

Huffington Post
There is no denying representation is hugely important - but it's just the starting point. Many of the Conservative leadership contenders currently vying for Prime Minister are people of colour - a fact being celebrated by some. However, those who take a closer look at the candidates might find otherwise.

Kemi Badenoch is posing as the "fresh face" of Tory leadership, but she has attracted plenty of controversy. She has previously claimed that the UK has been “falsely criticised as oppressive to minorities” and rejected calls for the teaching of black history in schools. While representation is essential in politics, we must go deeper than just optics.

Huffington Post talks with Tasnim, a 40-year old Bangladeshi accountant from Bristol who argues that politicians need to represent more than just your skin colour.
After all, Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to become Prime Minister and arguably set women's rights back more rather than progressing policies.

“I’d like to see more genuinely working class MPs getting into higher positions of influence”, Tasnim says. This week a video emerged of a young Rishi Sunak admitting he doesn't know any working class people.
All the Conservative contenders back Priti Patel's shocking plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, highly indicative of how their leadership might look. This 2018 quote from Gary Younge resonates: "When diversity is about a system looking different but acting the same, it serves not the excluded but the system.”

"We could have any number of minority MPs, but if they all hold the same regressive views, the rest of their community won’t benefit"

 
Text: IN OTHER NEWS. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Mo Farah is not my real name and my life story was fake, says Olympic champion
Mo Farah on the running track holding a large Union Jack flag.
At age nine, Mo Farah was given a false name and forced to work as a domestic servant. His real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin but the Olympic star was given fake documentation when he was trafficked with his now famous name on it. For the first few years, he wasn’t allowed to attend school and the woman who brought him to the UK told him: "If you ever want to see your family again, don't say anything." This fear meant he didn’t speak to anyone about his situation until he reached Feltham Community College and was able to alert social services who procured an adoption.

Farah feared revealing his true story and the nature of his UK citizenship but was determined to challenge perceptions of trafficking and slavery in the UK. Watch The Real Mo Farah on BBC iPlayer now.

"The only thing I could do to get away from this [living situation] was to get out and run"

Racist Algorithms Are Making Robots Racist Too
As we’ve long been warned about, racist and sexist stereotypes are being replicated in robots. New research with an AI language model found clear evidence of facial bias according to race and gender. If given vague instructions, the robot would fall back on discriminatory stereotypes, such as assuming a black man a criminal over a white man. AI models similar to this one are already actively deployed, despite the clear flaws of the system. AI ethicists warn that their inherent bias is “practically inescapable”. However, lack of diversity in AI is a huge contributing problem.
Getty opens access to 30,000 images of black diaspora in UK and US
A scientist photographed in London in 1948 with microscope
Getty Images have released a Black History & Culture Collection, composing of almost 30,000 “rarely seen images” as part of an educational initiative. The collection spans from the 1800s up until the present day, including pioneering abolitionists and civil rights figures. These photos will be free to use for all in order to spread awareness of stories from black history and culture “beyond narratives of enslavement and colonisation”. The collection is part of a wider antiracism initiative by Getty Images.
Text: ENTER THE WORK SPHERE. Background image shows picture of protestors.
Gymshark to open first ‘Deload’ barbershop with mental health trained barbers
Gymshark has opened a barber in Shoreditch with a focus on getting men to open up about their mental health. The idea is to create a safe space for men to speak to the mental health trained barbers and Gymshark will be offering free haircuts for five days to encourage this. They will also be selling Deload branded merch, with proceeds going to the mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
WFH Takes a Toll as UK Workplace Bullying Claims Surge
Employment law firm Fox & Partners claim working from home is causing a surge in workplace bullying. Cases have increased by 44% this year and they suggest that messaging apps and video calls may be contributing to this behaviour. Virtual bullying patterns they identified include "leaving colleagues out of remote meetings, gossiping on messaging apps, and making cutting remarks on video calls". Working from home has been a step forward for so many people, but we can't leave anyone behind. Workplace policies must catch up to the digital age of work with new policies and management training.

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