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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

26 Aug 2022

Diversity Lens - Issue 139

As we approach the Bank Holiday weekend, and coming from a Caribbean background myself, my mind immediately jumps into gear and excitement around the Notting Hill Carnival. Family members are in a flurry over who will wear the most flamboyant costumes, my nephew fine tuning his sound system and my niece practicing her Samba moves in the mirror.
Yet my thoughts this summer are also with those who struggle with body image; the pressure to cultivate the 'perfect body' - regardless of your gender expression - when in truth, this is an impossible ideal to try and emulate and ultimately may cause serious misery, and mental and/or physical health consequences in some cases. This week saw the distressing case of a mother photoshopping her 8yr old's body as a stark reminder of this social issue.
Carnival however, in its own brilliant and unique way, has always been body positive, welcoming all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages with accommodating arms. 
Archetypes with Meghan

In this debut episode of Meghan Markle's podcast, the Duchess of Sussex sits down with icon and friend Serena Williams. In this episode, 'The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams', they discuss the double standard that women face when labelled 'ambitious' compared to men. Meghan also brings Dr Laura Kray onto the podcast, a leading expert on gender in the workplace, to provide her professional perspective on women and ambition. 


Finland’s PM Passed Her Drugs Test – Now For The Rest of the World Leaders

“You don’t have to squint to see the sexist double standards involved in this ‘scandal’"

The leaked video of 36-year-old Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin, dancing at a party in a private apartment has sparked controversy and criticism this week.  

Despite not missing a single day of work since her election in 2019, and passing the drugs test to clear up unsubstantiated claims about the party, she remains under fire. 

Male global leaders such as Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are frequently absolved of any consequence for their ‘scandalous’ behaviour, which echoes the all-too-common excuse, ‘boys will be boys’.  

Were either of these male leaders handed this unjustified criticism or demanded to take a drugs test following their many public scandals? Or are our female leaders, perhaps, held to higher standards which are innately rooted in sexism?  

Across social media, women are standing (well, dancing) in solidarity with Marin, by posting videos of themselves grooving alongside the hashtag #SolidarityWithSanna.

Rikke Dal Stottrup of Danish magazine Alt for Damerne, said “It seems like certain people still today have a hard time comprehending the fact that you can be both a young woman […] and a competent politician at the same time”. 

This prompts us to question our own work-life balance and the pressures we all face to conform in professional environments. Being able to balance our sense of self appropriately and to be accepted for our whole selves at work is not possible without inclusive work environments. If we want to welcome diversity into our workplaces, we must expand our view of what ‘professional’ looks like, beyond the stereotypical norm of white, cis, straight and male.  

In the words of Marin herself, ‘even politicians need joy, light and fun’. May she continue to dance.  

Notting Hill Carnival: How the Annual London Event Continues to be a Home for Body Positivity – And What Society Could Learn From it
Notting Hill carnival is a celebration of heritage and resilience and has been a haven for body positivity before it became a thing talked about on social media.
At Notting Hill carnival, no outfit is too bold or too much. This is a refreshing change from a society that is obsessed with dictating what looks good and what type of body it looks good on. Trina Nicole and Monique Jamera discuss their experiences of the carnival and how the vast representation of different body types was the opposite of what they were shown at school and in the media which strictly followed European beauty standards.

“Notting Hill Carnival was the first place I was exposed to what we now know as body positivity before it was a trend or a hashtag”
How Rwanda Could Become One of The First Countries to Wipe Out Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Rwanda. In response, they are rapidly expanding their screening efforts, as well as using community health workers who go door to door in villages spreading awareness and encouraging attendance of screenings. Their HPV vaccination programme has been so successful it has surpassed many wealthier countries, including the UK, and they are among the frontrunners of eradicating cervical cancer, alongside Australia. Africa as a continent has historically struggled acutely with cervical cancer due to the difficulty of accessing public health services and the high costs of screening, making Rwanda’s achievements even more significant.

Harry Styles Says Figuring Out His Sexuality Has Been a 'Journey'

Harry Styles is the star of upcoming romance drama My Policeman which features a gay relationship. Styles’ own sexuality has long been a topic of interest as he refuses to give into demands to label himself. He has therefore been accused of ‘queer-baiting’ - adopting a queer image without actually being part of that community. This accusation is largely prompted by his subversive fashion style, often adopting a more ‘feminine’ look, and generally having a “playful relationship”with his gender self-expression. Whether Styles publicly shares his sexual preference or not is entirely his decision - we are not owed it. Regardless, his queer solidarity and subversion of gender stereotypes is something to be celebrated.

We Need a £15 Minimum Wage. This is How to Get There
The TUC has outlined a plan for wage growth supported by a minimum wage of £15 per hour. Minimum wage was first established in 1999 despite opposition from conservatives, business groups, and even economists. There is now widespread consensus in favour of the minimum wage, which transcends both academic and political divides. Upping this to £15, TUC argue, is essential to helping struggling workers stay afloat. The TUC also requested that the minimum wage go up by at least the rate of inflation this October, instead of next April as planned.
"Workers are living through the longest and harshest wage squeeze in 200 years, but it hasn’t always been like this. Up until the financial crash, wages saw sustained growth in every decade"
Meet The Work Influencers Amassing More Followers Than A-List Celebs

Max Farber, a coordinator of social media, is one of an increasing number of work influencers. In November of 2017, while still in a Zoom meeting, the 28-year-old recorded and uploaded a humorous TikTok video depicting an apologetic customer service representative who instantly changes persona after a call with a client. Within two hours, 200,000 people had viewed it. Max is one of a growing number of online creators who offer relatable, often hilarious commentary on typical workplace situations. “What makes these videos so popular is that we’re giving people a voice for all those thoughts that go through their heads from 9 to 5 each day, that you can never say out loud,” Farber explained. Even though these influencers are filming with their smartphones, they are amassing millions more followers than A-list celebrities with Hollywood productions.
Dina Asher-Smith Calls For Research Into How Period Cramps Affect Performance
The fastest woman in British history, Dina Asher-Smith, has initiated an important dialogue regarding the impact of period cramps on performance. Dina was forced to withdraw in the middle of the 100-meter race at the European Championships. At first, it was thought that the cramps were caused by dehydration, but it turned out that they were caused by her period.

Dina thinks that more money should be put into sports science-based research on period cramps because it could have a big ripple effect and help us understand how they affect a person's performance at work, in school, and in other parts of daily life. Dina has been met with praise for speaking up by many, including fellow British sprinter Imani-Lara Lansiquot, who agreed that "there should be more funding."

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