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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

27 Mar 2020

Diversity Lens - Issue 19

Mar 27

Diversity Lens - Issue 19

Diversity Lens

Welcome to Diversity Lens, the newsletter from BAME Recruitment and! We’re pleased to be bringing you all the latest news and opinions about recruitment and the world of diversity and inclusion
Latest News

5 ways to support your community during the Covid-19 outbreak:
  1. Download the NextDoor app. A platform to connect with your neighbours, you can find those who need some extra help and support them by picking up some milk or walking their dog.
  2. The Postcard Campaign. You can find templates online of a postcard to pop through your neighbours letterboxes. This way you can reach elderly and vulnerable members of your community or those who are self-isolating, and let them know they are not alone.
  3. Donate to food banks. Access to food is more important than ever in a time where many are stockpiling and leaving nothing for those most in need. Many are also looking for volunteers in this trying time.
  4. Give blood. This is considered an essential outing by the government and with many blood drives being cancelled, there is an urgent need for donations.
  5. Support your local businesses. Whilst supermarkets are profiting massively from panic shopping, independent stores are struggling, many forced to close their doors for good. Support independent businesses by shopping form your local greengrocer or international supermarket, order takeaways from local restaurants, and purchase a gift voucher to help these stores stay on your local high street.

Trans or cis, women are stronger united
International Transgender Day of Visibility is honoured annually on March 31st. In a society where transgender people are too often invalidated and discriminated against, lets celebrate those who feel able to live openly and proudly as transgender. There is a long history of feminist discourse, still given credence today, ignoring or rejecting outright the rights of trans women and men. Feminism by definition is a movement of inclusion, compassion and a fight against systematic gendered oppression. It logically follows that trans-exclusionary feminism is not feminism. Both trans people and cisgender women face a shared discrimination purely based on their gender; we share the same problems, we are on the same side. Columnist, Zoe Williams calls for solidarity and a move away from binaries. Read her article by clicking the picture below.

Trans man who gave birth is fighting back after court legally declared him his child’s ‘mother’
Trans man Freddy McConnell, who lost the right to be named his child’s father at the High Court last year, will take his case to the Court of Appeal. In September 2019, a judge ruled against McConnell despite the fact that he is legally recognised as male and has a Gender Recognition Certificate. Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division of the High Court, ruled that people who had given birth must legally be named as the “mother” on their child’s birth certificate, regardless of their gender. This created the first legal definition of a mother in common law. Scott Halliday, lawyer and modern families expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The High Court decision was hugely disappointing, but the Court of Appeal offers an opportunity to accurately acknowledge the relationship between Freddy and his child, and thus for the law to be on the right side of history when it comes to transgender rights".

Click Here to follow his story more closely.

LGBT and homeless: 'I was told to contact my abusive dad'Saskia was 16 when she was kicked out of her home by her abusive father. Her father, who had exploded after Saskia came out as transgender, was violent towards her and emotionally abusive. Eventually, she was told she was no longer welcome at home and Saskia left the house to stay with a friend's family. When Saskia contacted Cornwall Council for help, she says they asked her to obtain a letter from her dad to prove she had been kicked out. "Obviously I couldn't message my dad to ask for it, I was just terrified of being in the same place as him. I was trying to contact my family to try and get it [but] they just weren't cooperating. The council basically said without evidence there was nothing they could do." BBC Three contacted all 343 local councils in England and found that Saskia is not alone in her experience — 55 are asking young LGBTQ+ people who have been told to leave home for letters from their parents as “proof" of homelessness, unless there are claims of abuse. Click the photo to read more about Saskia's story.

Lewis Capaldi launches fan mental health schemeThe Scottish singer has pioneered a mental health initiative called Livelive which aims to help fans who suffer from social anxiety and experience panic attacks, particularly in the crowded venues of his gigs. He has recently spoken out about his own mental health struggles in interviews and received a huge amount of support and identification from fans with similar experiences. Livelive provides additional support for fans attending his live shows in the form of a gig buddy system, a help desk and a quiet space reserved for anyone who needs it. This is the first mental health initiative of its kind and the response he has received from fans has been hugely positive.

Click Here for full details of the Livelive scheme.

Being deaf isn't a barrier to a wonderful life
25 year old Louise Goldsmith is an award-winning deaf advocate. Having lost her hearing from the age of 7, Louise has faced huge discrimination for being deaf. She has turned her experiences into a platform for speaking out and educating the UK public on deaf issues. Louise says there needs to be more awareness among those who work with members of the public: "Like in shops, for example, if I don't hear how much money I have to pay, the specific change, I ask them to repeat again but sometimes I don't hear the last bit, and I tell them I'm deaf and then they have this face of shock, and you know they feel awkward. Being deaf does not actually suck - if I wasn't deaf I would not have met the wonderful people in this unique deaf culture," says Louise. "Over the years I've learnt that we are actually experts in adapting to different circumstances and we can still actually enjoy life without sound." Here more from Louise via the photo below.

Diversity and Inclusion Insights

Start-ups need to start investing in diversity
One might have presumed that start-ups would be proactively striving for diverse representation in their modern workforces, but when it comes to making a meaningful impact, they are falling short. Francesca Warner, founder of Diversity VC, argues that start-ups should make diversity a priority from the very beginning by "putting a budget behind it [...] and making it a standard agenda item in board packs". Creating an inclusive culture for start-ups is of the utmost importance, and to be neglectful in terms of BAME and other minority groups would be a huge downfall for a new company. Warner knowingly states, "I'd advise an intersectional approach from day one". While the value of diversity in the workplace is now widely accepted, there is still a lack of impactful action to achieve this. Click the photo for tips on diversifying your workplace.

Emotion-detecting videos will force you to see your racial bias
Artist Karen Palmer is creating an interactive experience which uses cutting-edge technology to reveal implicit biases. The installation, called Perception iO, uses tools such as A.I., emotion detection and eye tracking to expose your subjective perception of reality. In the immersive storytelling experience, the viewer takes the perspective of a police officer in a volatile situation, and the narrative changes depending on the emotions detected in the participant, whether that is anger, fear, surprise or calmness. The installation encourages the viewer to examine and reflect upon their own implicit racial or gender bias that previously they may not even have been aware existed. Palmer asks us, "How comfortable are you with the idea that your perceptions of reality have real-life consequences? Would you bet your life on it?". Her project is ongoing. Click the photo for more information.

Japanese Prefecture to stop hiring women as 'tea servers' for meetings
A local government assembly is attempting to shake up Japan’s conservative workplace culture by ending the custom of employing women to serve tea at meetings. Few official gatherings in Japan have properly begun until female employees – known collectively as the ochakumi (“tea squad”) – have placed cups of green tea in front of their invariably male senior colleagues, occasionally accompanied by something sweet. The move however was not entirely motivated by a desire to challenge traditional gender roles, having been made at a meeting last month to discuss ways to cut costs. However this is a significant change in the traditional culture of Japan. The idea that women should operate quietly in the background while men dominate the boardroom – or legislative chamber – is deeply entrenched in Japanese society, according to the country’s highest-ranking UN official, Izumi Nakamitsu. To read more click the photo below.
Story of the Week

The doctor seeing patients in chicken shops
Doctor Ronx has gained attention as a Doctor who seeks out patients in the most unusual places
The Doctor, who is from Hackney, wants young people to take their health more seriously and so operates a GP pop-up. In the UK, 16 to 30-year-olds are the most likely age group to miss a doctor's appointment. Decreasing trust in the NHS and the healthcare system and lack of diversity and variety have meant that younger generations have relied on internet sources for information rather than GPs. The documentary, shown on BBC, features Dr. Ronx treating a variety of patients, ranging from a trans man using a painful binder, to a woman with alopecia. Dr. Ronx's show intends to demystify the visit to the GP and to make healthcare more accessible.

Featured Video

Man sets up project to preserve world's endangered languages and gains an army of volunteers
Daniel Bögre Udell from New York was inspired to save and document some of the world's most endangered languages through his online platform Wikitongue. Languages such as Tunica, Osing, Sorani Kurdish and Dutch sign language—are just some of the 500 languages considered critically endangered. With only a handful of speakers, and no active movement to revive the language, they could be lost to time. Thankfully, Daniel and his team are not only preserving the languages and culture for current generations, they are also ensuring that even if the language goes extinct, future generations can learn their heritage language with these resources. Check out the video below.
Contributors to Wikitongue record and caption video oral histories, raise awareness about language sustainability in their communities and help support special projects.
Inspirational Person of the Week

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is an internationally celebrated author, playwright and speaker, and has led the way for many black authors. She was the first black female editor at Random House, New York City and through this position she was able to give a platform to a new generation of African American writers. She did not publish her first novel, The Bluest Eye, until she was 39-years-old and managed to do so whilst raising two children alone. Through her novels, plays and children's books, Morrison unapologetically voiced African American stories, creating space for black female identity in America. Among many other awards, she was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, as well as the second female writer of fiction to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. In her Nobel acceptance speech, she encouraged others to tell their story: "Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world", a hugely inspirational message for underrepresented communities.
Her most popular novel, Beloved was written in 1987 and was inspired by the true story of an African-American woman. The book went on to become a trilogy, and was adapted into a film which starred Oprah Winfrey. The memory of her life and writing is now celebrated on her birth date, February 18th, every year.

Click Here to discover more of Morrison's life.

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