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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

24 Mar 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 167

This week saw the start of Ramadan, a month-long celebration observed by Muslims worldwide. Be supportive of your Muslim colleagues this month in three simple ways:

  1. Talk about it - acknowledge Ramadan to your Muslim colleagues. Wish them Ramadan Mubarak (have a happy Ramadan) or Ramadan Kareem (have a blessed Ramadan.)
  2. Be supportive & flexible - fasting during the day and participating in celebrations in the evening can result in burnout - be mindful of this.
  3. Remember Eid-ul-Fitr - Eid marks the end of Ramadan. Wish your Muslim colleagues Eid Mubarak (have a happy Eid) and encourage them to take the day off.

Full article from Yusuf Z. Zakir.


Podcast: "Can Pop Culture Do ADHD?
Pop Culture With Chanté

ADHD in pop culture has a skewed representation. An upcoming documentary will follow Sam Thompson and his discovery of his own diagnosis. This builds on an established lens through which we often see ADHD manifested - in white, male, privileged people. In this podcast, Chanté and guest Demi Colleen talk about being black women with ADHD and the different ways this can manifest. They question, does the same mainstream narrative need to be platformed again? Or should we be giving a voice to people who face more barriers accessing a diagnosis? Whether that is by being a person of colour, living in poverty, or having another intersecting disability.



Britain’s Biggest Police Force is ‘Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic’ –
Can it Change?

Following the death of Sarah Everard at the hands of a serving Met police officer, Cressida Dick was pressured to call for an enquiry into the force. The report carried out by Louise Casey was delivered on Tuesday.

She found misogyny and sexism within the force and detailed reports of female police officers silenced in their complaints of male officers; name calling; and inappropriate touching. 55% said they experienced sexism while working at the Met. Evidence of systemic racism was found via disproportionate disciplinary action; stop and search powers; and hate speech. Homophobia was also found to be recurrent in the abusive actions of police officers.

This discrimination extends to the public as well, and Casey quoted an officer who said that so few rapes are brought to justice that effectively rape is legal in London.

Services for women and children were cut so drastically that rape kits were being kept in broken fridges and were therefore spoiled.

Casey identified austerity as a cause of the downfall of the police, yet the Met is better funded per head than any other force in the UK. Other issues included the lack of vetting of officers and the ineffective consequences of misconduct. Little has changed since the Macpherson report in 1999 due to a 'cumulative failure of leadership', a persistent toxic culture and refusal to change. With this new report, will things finally improve?

It has been suggested that the Met may be beyond redemption, and Casey says it may need to be dismembered if reform isn't seen. 



Doreen Lawrence Says Metropolitan Police Are ‘Rotten to the Core’

Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, described the Metropolitan Police as "rotten to the core" following Louise Casey's investigation into the organisation's culture. The investigation, which was conducted after Sarah Everard's death, accuses the institution of institutionalised racism, sexism, and homophobia. Given that Sir William Macpherson had come to the same conclusion more than 24 years prior, Lady Lawrence stated that the findings of the latest report this week were unsurprising. She demanded fundamental change within the police force, claiming that since the publication of Macpherson's report, discrimination had not been addressed.

Uganda Passes a Measure to Make it a Crime to Identify as LGBTQ

Uganda's parliament has passed a shocking bill criminalising homosexuality. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ already face legal discrimination and violence in the country where same-sex relations are already banned. Yet this new bill outlaws even identifying yourself as LGBTQ+. The death penalty has been introduced for "aggravated homosexuality", and life in prison for "gay sex." The legislation also bans "promoting and abetting" homosexuality, as well as so-called "conspiracies" to engage in it. Ugandan LGBTQ+ activists have condemned the new law as an attempt to eradicate the existence of queer people in the country. The legislation has been sent to President Yoweri Museveni to be signed into law.

No, Lesbians Aren’t Being ‘Erased’ by Trans People

Lesbian erasure is a common gender-critical rhetoric being circulated today. Dr Finn Mackay, a senior sociology lecturer at the University of the West of England, believes this narrative is "fuelling a conservative agenda that wishes to divide." A narrative that is gaining worrying traction in recent months is that young lesbians are being pressured into transitioning into trans men. The individuals that push these ideas are openly trans-exclusionary, such as The Lesbian Project, set up by controversial figures Kathleen Stock and Julie Bindel. They are trying to "fracture and divide the LGBTQ+ movement," says Mackay.

Gender Equality Isn’t Possible Without Abortion and Contraception

The world's efforts to promote gender equality hinge on access to reproductive health care, says Banchiamlack Dessalegn Africa Director at MSI Reproductive Choices. Abortion continues to be restricted across the world, with millions of women and girls denied access to it. Due to these laws and the shame spread by anti-choice groups, a culture of silence has grown around reproductive choices. Marginalised, rural, and low-income communities that can’t access private healthcare or travel for services are the ones most affected. Gender equality demands access to contraception and safe abortion because, without them, women’s lives, education, economic stability, and political participation are on the line.



To round out Women's History Month, we want to shout out our partner Acacium Group as they continue to make strides on their DEI journey! They recently appointed a new Race & Ethnicity D&I Network Co-Senior Sponsor, Nicola Ellis-Webb, who will work to further Acacium Group's DEI agenda and demonstrate that everyone can bring their whole authentic self to work without fear.

As a senior leader in a global business, Nicola has some valuable insights to share from her career journey. Find out more about Acacium Group and read Nicola's advice to all women battling imposter symdrome here.

Female Senior Manager Denied Pay Rise Because Husband Earned 'More Than Enough'

A female senior manager has won a sex discrimination case against British firm James Durrans & Sons after being told she couldn't have a pay rise because her household income was already "more than enough." The tribunal heard that her boss believed a married woman could not challenge her salary if her husband was a high earner. Her husband was a director at the company, earning up to £270,000, while she was earning £36,000 when she complained. The judge at the tribunal told the boss in question that his comment was "inherently discriminatory" and sexist. The tribunal ordered the company to pay the woman £4,000, but dismissed other claims of race, sex, and marital status discrimination, as well as harassment.

Many Companies Are Backtracking On Their Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Programs

Since 2020 when George Floyd's death sparked a fire underneath diversity and inclusion initiatives, it seems the impetus for change is now receding. Mass layoffs and budget cuts are hitting employees from minority backgrounds hardest. Diversity and Inclusion departments themselves have been among the first to go amid downsizing efforts, suggesting their existence was a performative function and not a priority. However, diversity programs are "more vital than ever," writes Yelp's chief diversity offer. In times of turbulence, she advocates for inclusive workplaces that don't break the bank: take stock of your employee diversity and identify the gaps; educate and empower your leaders; promote ongoing diversity learning; and implement an executive-led sponsorship program to help others rise through the ranks.

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