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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

26 May 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 175

A few years ago Cynthia Davis and the team at Diversifying Group had an idea to host a not-for-profit awards evening to celebrate the amazing people, role models and change makers doing vital work on Boards and for the communities and missions they serve.

On Friday the dream became a reality and it was humbling to host an event where it wasn’t mostly about winning and much more a celebration of the amazing people from all backgrounds making a difference to our Boards across the UK.
Get a taste of The Board Awards here.

Queer Eye S07 E06 

Queer Eye is back! A particular stand-out episode from the new series explores the life of a hardworking hero, Mary, who spent years in prison and now helps the formerly incarcerated rebuild their lives. At her thrift store, SisterHearts, she offers a space for re-humanising and healing from the trauma of being in prison by providing jobs and a new sense of purpose.


Book Bans Are Discriminatory And Bad,
U.S. Dept of Education Rules

Since 2021, a Georgia school district has been the centre of a book banning fight, removing, or censoring books with themes relating to sex, gender, and race. 

In a ruling that is one of the first of its kind, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has ruled against that district, finding that the removal of these books created a hostile environment for students. The investigation and ruling come after several recent federal lawsuits, arguing that banning books in schools violates First Amendment rights, which protect freedom of speech.

This welcome ruling comes after calls to ban books hit the highest level recorded in the US, most often due to LGBTQIA+ representation. Requests for bans in 2022 were up 38% from the previous year.

People of colour are often targeted in these book bans, and most recently Amanda Gorman, who read a poem at Biden's inauguration, has been under attack. Her book, in which said poem was featured, was removed from a school due to a complaint of "indoctrination." Since the removal, a fundraiser quickly raised over $50,000 for PEN America.

“Closing our eyes to the reality portrayed in these stories will not make life’s challenges disappear. Books give us courage and help us understand each other.”

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, president of the ALA



Why Some Gay Men Still Fear Kissing in Public

The BBC has launched the UK’s first gay male dating show, I Kissed a Boy. This is a great a step forward for queer representation on British screens, however a poll taken by the BBC of 501 gay men showed that 53% have experienced some sort of discrimination while engaging in public displays of affection.
One of the contestants of the show, Subomi, says that he used to have “a lot of anxiety” around being affectionate in public, for fear of being harassed. And police reports have shown a year-on-year rise in hate crimes based upon sexual orientation.
Robbie de Santos from Stonewall has said "These concerning figures are another reminder of the rising hate that LGBTQ+ people are facing."

Equality and Human Rights Commission Chair Faces Probe Over Claims of ‘Toxic Environment’

The head of the EHRC in the UK, Baroness Falkner, is being investigated over claims of a "toxic environment" and more than 40 complaints from current and former employees. One-fourth of the EHRC's members, who enforce equality and anti-discrimination laws, left the organisation last year, and a significant number of them were LGBTQIA+. Falkner is also being criticised for allegedly making disparaging remarks about a transgender quiz show contestant and for disregarding legal counsel when endorsing changes to equality law. Due to recent politically motivated appointments, the EHRC's objectivity is questioned in light of these allegations.

Martha Stewart Lands ‘Historic’ Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

At 81-years-old, Martha Stewart makes history as the oldest swimsuit model Sports Illustrated has featured. Of this milestone, Stewart admitted: "I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic.” Women over a certain age have historically been discounted by the media, seen as 'out of their prime' and irrelevant, particularly their bodies. Could this be changing? Chanté Joseph explores this question in her pop culture podcast this week, along with the intersections between aging and race.

New York City Passes Law Barring Weight Discrimination

By passing a law banning weight discrimination, New York City has established a hopeful precedent. This action adds height and weight into the 27 characteristics already protected in the city's human rights law. Shaun Abreu, a councilman, hopes that other states and cities will adopt a similar policy. It's critical to take into account all types of discrimination that people experience in the workplace and elsewhere as we work to create a more inclusive society.


8 in 10 Women Say Stigma Around Periods Has Held Them Back in Their Career

According to research by WaterAid, 85% of working women report feeling stressed or anxious about managing their periods at work, and 80% believe that societal attitudes towards menstruation interfered with their chances to advance in their careers. Two-thirds of people feel awkward talking about their periods at work, and one in five cannot take time off for menstrual-related issues. WaterAid also found that free period products, flexible work schedules, and more breaks could help manage menstruation in the workplace. A recent law granting paid leave for painful periods was passed in Spain, a pioneering move for menstrual health policy.


The Writers’ Strike Could Determine the Future of Women, POC and LGBTQ+ Writers in the Industry

American TV writers are striking for increased pay and job security. The TV industry has undergone a profound change as a result of the rapid expansion of streaming services like Netflix, and writers' wages have not kept pace. The most acutely impacted are women, ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQIA+ community who have the least access to writing jobs and are at risk of being forced out of the industry.
“One of the reasons that the industry has been dominated by White men is they are the ones with the generational wealth and the privilege,” says Kyra Jones a writer for ABC. The union is requesting minimum staffing standards, weeks of guaranteed work for writers, and increased pay during the editing or final stages of a show. However, the major studios have rejected these demands, leading to a conflict that may determine the direction of television.

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