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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

17 Mar 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 166

Film can give us a language for experiences that we maybe don’t quite understand or can’t give words to yet. Unlike textual resources, which can be dense, inaccessible, and dry, films show us rather than tell us. We follow protagonists who are often completely different to us, with life experiences we have never been exposed to, yet the power of good cinema puts us in their shoes, fostering an empathy and kindness where before might have been ignorance or misunderstanding. 

The 2023 Oscar nominees represent this completely. Read about just a few that resonated with our team at Diversifying Group

 

STORY OF THE WEEK

‘I Spent a Year in a Refugee Camp’: Immigrant Stories Take Centre Stage at the Oscars 2023

Did you spot any blue ribbons adorning your favourite film stars at the Oscars?

Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy and Guillermo del Toro were among the big names sporting the ribbons as a symbol of solidarity with refugees. But this wasn't the only nod to immigrants in the evening.

The speeches were a joyful celebration of where embracing diversity can take us. Michelle Yeoh, Best Actress winner, dedicated her win to “all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.” She was just the second woman of colour ever to pick up the award in 95 years. 

Ke Huy Quan, winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the same film, delivered a moving speech about his origins. “My journey started on a boat,” he tells us. “I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage." A testament to what can be achieved when everyone's voice is allowed to be heard.

These moments at the Oscars were backdropped by an increasingly hostile outlook on refugees in the UK and US. Under our proposed new 'small boats' which prevents refugees from seeking asylum here, where would Ke Huy Quan be? 

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Two in Five People in the UK Think Equality Has Gone So Far, Men Are Now Being Discriminated Against

Research from King’s College London and Ipsos has found that 40% of brits believe that by supporting equal rights for women we are discriminating against men. This shocking research conducted for International Women's Day also found that 38% felt enough has been done to advance women's rights, despite widespread inequality persisting around the world. Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s, Julia Gillard, suggests that "misogynistic influencers" may be to blame. High-profile examples of misogyny are rampant online and their reach appears to be expanding and deterring people from championing the rights of women. 29% said they were afraid to publicly support equal rights for women, risen from 14% back in 2017.
 

Police Drop Most Complaints of Officer Violence Against Women, Study Shows

According to the National Police Chiefs' Council, over 1,500 police officers in the UK were charged with violent crimes against women and girls, but less than 1% of them were fired. From October 2021 to April 2022, there were 1,483 different accusations against police officers and of these, 1,177 were about violence, such as sexual harassment and assault, that the police were said to have committed. To enhance police responses to violence against women and girls, the National Police Chiefs' Council and the College of Policing have published an annual evaluation of police performance.

LGBTQ Asylum Seeker Charity Warns of ‘Extreme’ Human Cost to the UK Government’s Illegal Migration Bill

 

The Illegal Migration Bill has been described as “an absolute horror show” by Rainbow Migration, a charity that helps LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers. The bill seeks to detain people arriving in the country for 28 days without bail or judicial review, and then possibly sending them to “a safe third country, like Rwanda.” This is of great concern for the LGBTQIA+ community, as the UK foreign office’s own travel advice states that LGBTQIA+ individuals face discrimination and abuse in Rwanda. Other countries suggested are Nigeria and Uganda, when in 2021 up to 50 people were granted asylum from Nigeria on the basis of sexual orientation. 

 

Government Rejects Demand for Schools to Record Racist Incidents

After YMCA research showed that almost all Black children have experienced racism at school, Labour MP Janet Daby, as well as MPs from the SNP and DUP, called for better data collection on racism in schools. Recent government data has also shown that 7,403 pupils were excluded for racist incidents over the last year, which is a 50% increase from the previous year. 

However, Education Minister Nick Gibb has refused to force schools to record and report racist bullying, insisting that headteachers already have enough guidance. He also said, “We remain committed to ensuring teachers have the tools and responsibilities to carry out their duties.” 

 

WORK SPHERE

Gen Z is Bringing the Optimism on Gender Equity. Companies Need to Keep Up

The new generation of workers aren't afraid to demand more from their employers. Gen Z were born between 1997-2010, making them the "most diverse, educated and tech-savvy in human history." As they establish themselves in the workforce, they're intent on finding employers that match their values. A study of 10,000 Gen Zers in the US and the UK identified the central value as equality. This generation, particularly the women, aren't content with antiquated workplace policies, they expect better rights and benefits than their previous generation and will leave if they don't get it! Employers, ignore them at your peril.

Half of Firms in Scotland Plan to Enact Steps to Improve Workplace Inclusivity, says Bank of Scotland

According to a Bank of Scotland survey, 31% of Scottish businesses give staff training on Diversity and Inclusion as a top priority. 27% of businesses polled were working towards a more diverse workforce, and 1/5 of them wanted to introduce more flexible work hours for their staff. Despite these good intentions however, many businesses need outside assistance to carry out their plans. 30% of them say they need access to specialised HR skills, and 23% say government financial incentives would be helpful. To move from good intention to action, businesses should bring in experts in the field where possible, rather than leaning solely on employee support groups or internal HR teams.

‘Women Need to be Made to Feel Comfortable Taking Menopause Leave’

Helen Tomlinson, England's first Menopause Employment Champion, believes that women are unlikely to take menopause leave from work unless there is a cultural change. While the introduction of time off work to deal with menopause symptoms would be a positive step, Tomlinson emphasises the need for women to feel comfortable taking such leave instead of general sick days. She believes that menopause could be considered a protected characteristic under the Equality Act if the legislation were subject to review, following the example of sex and age discrimination. As Menopause Employment Champion, she aims to break the menopause taboo, improve workplace support, and ensure that practical steps are taken to assist employees dealing with menopause symptoms, such as offering remote working or adjusted hours.

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