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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

19 Aug 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 138

Did you know that August is known as 'silly season' in the public relations sphere?

The reason being that supposedly nothing important is happening in the news because of a lull in political happenings. Well, this newsletter is jam-packed with the top things we think you need to know this week.

A climate-related hunger crisis, pioneering policies on menstruation, the downfall of workplace 'banter'. Reject silly season and engage with important topics. Scroll to the bottom for job opportunities.
Free Chol Soo Lee

This brand new doc tells the largely forgotten story of Chol Soo Lee, a 20-year-old Korean immigrant in America. In 1973 in San Francisco, he was falsely convicted for murder and imprisoned for ten years, four of which were on death row. The murder happened in Chinatown which led to Lee being racially profiled, assumed Chinese by police. Lee's case sparked a landmark social justice movement for Asian Americans throughout the 70s. In select cinemas today - watch the trailer.
It's not in the headlines yet, but Africa is in the midst of a hunger crisis. Through a combination of the worst drought in decades, conflict and food price hikes,117 million cannot access enough food.

While we're starting to feel pangs of the climate crisis here in the UK, Africa is being hit particularly hard. Inflation around the world is contributing to this devastating impact, and the conflict in the Ukraine has also been a contributing factor.

Dr Asha Mohammed, secretary general of the Kenya Red Cross, says: “We have been sounding the alarm for some time in Kenya. We are facing the worst drought in 40 years. Crop production has decreased by a staggering 70%".

Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia are among the worst affected areas currently.

Somalia is reaching a catastrophic level with 33% of the entire population now in crisis, or worse. Across the continent, hunger is contributing to 45% of children’s deaths.

The Red Cross is leading the effort to get supplies to those who need it the most. “The UK must play a leading role in responding to this growing emergency", their Chief Exec says. Help them continue their work, donate to the Africa Food Crisis Appeal.



Where Schools Stand Legally on Children’s Trans Rights
Policies around gender and gender expression in schools are incredibly outdated, and arguably harmful. The government’s chief legal adviser has said that schools must provide single sex toilets, and staff are allowed to "ignore" student requests to be addressed by a different pronoun. The Attorney General for England and Wales made a speech last week that took this advice further, saying schools can "exclude transgender people from single-sex spaces". Pink News called it a “chilling” speech that used the “anti-trans dog-whistle that supportive adults are ‘grooming’ children by affirming their identity”. Under the Equality Act 2010, students questioning their gender identity assigned at birth should never be treated less favourably than cisgender students.

"Educators cannot prevent trans students from benefiting from the same policies as other pupils just because they are trans."
Scotland Becomes First Country to Give Free Period Products – Regardless of Gender
The groundbreaking 'Period Products Act 2021' came into place in Scotland this week - the first of its kind. Schools, education providers and councils are now legally required to provide period products to people, for free, regardless of age, gender or income. The language used in the Act is gender neutral and ensures the inclusion of transgender and non-binary people who menstruate, who often have greater difficulty accessing products due to their gender identity.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said “it’s time for the UK Government to follow suit and put an end to period poverty.”
Thousands of Patients Forced to Travel Far From Home for NHS Mental Health Treatment
As a result of a lack of local beds, tens of thousands of individuals are forced to travel hundreds of miles to obtain mental health treatment on the NHS. England had 575 "inappropriate out-of-area mental health placements" in May alone. According to NHS data, nearly three-fifths of patients were required to travel more than 60 miles from their homes, meaning patients were isolated and left without their support network. 50% of placements lasted longer than 31 days, an all-time record.

"She was 300 miles away in Scotland and it broke me [...] you feel that you've failed them."

PwC Says Graduates no Longer Need at Least 2:1 Degree to Work at Firm
Accounting firm PwC has eliminated the requirement that new hires earn at least a 2:1 at university. They're taking this step in attempts to reach a broader range of backgrounds in their recruitment and diversify its graduate intake. According to the organisation, talent and potential are "decided by more than academic grades" - something we've been advocating for years. PwC believes that over 70,000 additional students would be eligible for employment each year. 
"A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said that employers were still being forced to sweeten salaries and flexible working options as the UK’s hiring boom continued"
City Office ‘Bants’ Must Become a Thing of the Past
A Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) poll revealed that the vast majority of employees no longer feel at ease with typical workplace "bants." A staggering 97% of respondents acknowledged having experienced awkward chat at some point. A third found the conversation so unnerving that they started looking for another job, and two-thirds claimed that it made them contribute less in meetings. The poll also found that people don't trust HR departments to stand up for them when the line is crossed.


Scotland Launches Neurodivergence Support Scheme in UK first

The Salvesen Mindroom Centre, a neurodiversity organisation, has launched its Neuroinclusion At Work Programme, backed by the Scottish government. Their aim is to support individuals with neurodivergence such as autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia by helping businesses become more knowledgeable, alert, and equipped. By 2026, it aims to reach one million workers. This is just one of the 13 projects supported by the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund, aiming to "address long-standing barriers in the labour market".

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