Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

06 Jan 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 156

As we step into 2023, January brings with it the overwhelming array of “new year, new you” messages and pressure to improve yourself in extremely specific ways. However, we’re advocating for channeling that energy into making 2023 a kinder year for everyone, through giving your time, empathy, and support. We’ve been loving this list of 52 kind things you can do in 2023, including:

  • Becoming a mental health first aider at work

  • Volunteering to walk dogs for people in need

  • Donating blood – the NHS urgently need more blood donors of black heritage 

  • Helping friends clean up after moving house

Small things can make an enormous difference and research has shown that being kinder makes us happier too. Let’s start 2023 off right!

MOVIE: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

This Whitney Houston biopic charts the rise of the icon, through "an epic narrative of talent and struggle." The film is transparent about Houston's romance with early girlfriend, assistant and creative director, Robyn Crawford. Her sexual orientation has been public knowledge for some time but when Houston was first signed in 1983, her father stipulated that she must be seen dating men. She was pressured into straight-passing to gain success. While the film glosses over some parts, the end product is a moving glimpse into the life of the superstar and queer black joy. In cinemas now.

 

STORY OF THE WEEK

 

Size of England and Wales’ LGBTQ+ Population Confirmed For First Time by New Census Data

 

New census information was released today (January 6th) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) spreading much-needed light on the growing LGBTQIA+ communities. 

In a snapshot, around 1.5 million people (3.2%) stated that they identified with an LGB+ sexual orientation, while 43.4 million people (89.4%) identified as straight or heterosexual. More than 260,000 people were revealed to identify as trans. This census occurs once a decade and this is the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity were included in the data-gathering.

This data is invaluable in understanding our population, and could be advantageous in securing more resources, support and policy developments for LGBTQIA+ people, as well as fighting discrimination. Unsurprisingly, London was identified as the largest hotspot for LGBTQ people.

Prior to this census, the only question around sex presupposed a binary by asking, “what is your sex?” After much campaigning and fundraising the census was amended to ensure "every person feels counted".

 

IN OTHER NEWS

UK Shamed by Ireland After Country Outlaws LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

The UK now risks "being left behind on the world stage" after Ireland hope to complete their conversion therapy ban this year. It's been over four years since the UK promised to do the same. Conversion therapy - the attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity - is barbaric and widely discredited, but the government continue to drag their feet on implementing a ban. First promised by Theresa May in 2018, it was shelved momentarily by Johnson, then reinstated but excluding trans people. Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch pushed the partial ban back once again last October with no clear timeline. Former LGBTQ+ advisor to the government has expressed incredulity that "the UK government is taking so long to do the right and decent thing."

Pelé: Why Black Brazilians Like Me Mourn the King

Pelé, a Brazilian professional footballer, and icon to so many, died last Thursday. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, it was a blow to many fans, but uniquely to black communities, in Brazil and beyond. Pelé faced no shortage of discrimination in his time on the pitch but rose to stardom despite this anti-black racism rooted in Brazil. Though he was resistant to speak out against this racism, he forged a path to celebrate black Brazilians regardless - "a King, an icon."

Disabled Young People Have Less Upward Social Mobility Than Their Peers – And Class Background Makes This Worse

There is little data in the UK that showcases the inequalities experienced by disabled people. Research that is available found that disabled young people are more likely to be unemployed at age 25 and are less likely to end up in jobs with better pay and conditions than their parents. Social backgrounds played a crucial role in unemployment levels, as disabled young people from a low social class background were more likely to be unemployed than those from intermediate and high social class backgrounds. Within this research, interviews were conducted with young people who reported barriers to learning and a difficulty in receiving support at school. This was most acute with young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds who didn't benefit from "parental resources and strategies to overcome ableist barriers."

The Church of England's First Nonbinary Priest Says Queer People Are a “Blessing to the Church"

Bingo Allison, a non-binary 36-year-old parent of three, is now a priest serving openly in the Church of England's clergy. Despite having grown up in a "strongly religious" home where they were told that being LGBTQ+ was a sin, they now see their identity as a link to the divine. Allison could be the first nonbinary priest in the Church of England. In 2021 Megan Rohrer became the first trans bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Alexya Salvador became the first openly transgender pastor in Brazil. Both Allison and Rohrer are hoping that their journeys and actions as they become leaders in a church will demonstrate to transgender adolescents that they are loved and supported even in religious settings where LGBTQIA+ identities can lack support.

 

WORK SPHERE

Inclusive Agency Spotlight

Stepping into the inclusive agency spotlight this week is OA Recruitment! OA are passionate about increasing the number of diverse channels through which they advertise roles in order to connect with a more diverse pool of candidates. Plus, they're deeply committed to mindfulness & wellbeing initiatives - not only internally, but also for their candidates - and that's why we're so excited to have them as a partner.

We can't wait to work with OA and support them on their D&I journey. Find out more about OA Recruitment and browse open roles on Diversifying Agencies.

Remote Work Turns Out to be a Much Better Deal For Men Than For women

Some women who work from home are discovering that traditional gender norms are being perpetuated as remote work becomes increasingly embedded in our culture. There have always been differences in how men and women work, and it looks like these differences may also exist in home offices. According to research, women who worked from home were more likely to feel guilty about not spending more time with their families than their spouses. The research also indicated that women who worked from home found themselves handling many more household responsibilities and tasks compared to men. The studies polled more than 230 couples, some with children and some without, over two-week periods about their remote work experiences.



Anti-Strike Laws Could be Revealed in Next Fortnight But Unions Plan to Take Legal Action to Block Them



Within the next two weeks, Rishi Sunak may announce new anti-strike regulations, and unions may file a lawsuit to stop them. After a winter of massive industrial strikes over real-terms pay cuts, the Prime Minister is reportedly working on legislation to establish minimum service levels across a number of sectors. As a result of recent walkouts by union workers, rail travellers are currently experiencing new travel inconveniences. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary, Paul Nowak, stated that "The Conservatives' draconian new curbs on strikes will tilt the balance of power even more in favour of bad bosses. The ball is in the Government’s court to resolve these disputes, by negotiating a fair pay deal.”

FTSE 100 Bosses Paid More in Three Days Than Average UK Worker For Whole Year

While the average worker is taking a real-time pay cut due to rising inflation, the top bosses in the UK are doing better than ever. This year, they made more money by Thursday afternoon than the average UK worker will earn in the entire year. This happened sooner than expected this year - 9 hours earlier than last year - meaning the pay gap is increasing. In fact, the median FTSE 100 CEO pay is up 39% since January 2022, while average medium pay climbs a measly 6%. In such difficult economic times for the majority of the UK, this information is even more shocking. As Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB remarks, “NHS workers and others are being forced on to the picket lines just to make ends meet while these fat cats get the cream.”

 

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