12 Jan 2024
Diversity Lens - Issue 206
Are you feeling particularly blue at the moment?
This feeling is due to peak, apparently, on Monday - Blue Monday that is. According to a UK travel company, the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year. But is it true?
Anecdotally, I'm inclined to think yes. It's cold, it's dark, we're staying inside more and work still feels a shock after Christmas. Some parts of this are inevitable, but others are in our power to change! I've found that making sure you're leaving your house, making plans with your friends still, and finding joy in your work go a long way to ward off the January blues. Or if work is getting you down, maybe it's time for a new one? We've got some tips coming up on our Instagram very soon to help with just that.
- Cressida, Head of Content
QUICK FIRE NEWS 🧨
LET'S GET INTO IT 🤓
A summary of the post office 📮 scandal:
Remind me what this is about. The post office scandal is an old case brought back into the spotlight from a new ITV drama retelling the events. If you need a reminder, more than 900 workers were wrongly prosecuted between 1999-2015. A faulty software system called Horizon made it appear that money was missing, causing staff to face jail time, financial ruin, lives broken down, and even suicide. Workplaces have a responsibility to protect and support their staff, here they were betrayed and criminalised.
Why are we talking about this now? Only after 20 years, did campaigners finally get their cases reconsidered. A public inquiry began in February 2021, but only 93 convictions have been overturned and victims are still fighting for justice. The progress for justice has been glacial, until now it seems.
Mr Bates vs. the Post Office Despite this gross miscarriage of justice, many people were not fully aware of the case until the new TV series began airing early this year. Increased pressure on government action has resulted in PM Rishi Sunak promising a new law to exonerate victims and provide financial compensation. The police have also announced that they will investigate post office officials for wrongdoing, while former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells has said she will hand back her CBE after a petition demanding this gained traction.
Day in the Life ♿️ wheelchair edition
Steps really are EVERYWHERE 😡
Our wonderful D&I Trainer, Jo, kindly took us along with them on some normal daily errands. The problem? Almost nowhere was accessible for a wheelchair.
It is clear that this world is not built with disabled people in mind…but we can, and must, change that.
We love this story of one man in Iceland building 1600 wheelchair ramps to make local businesses more accessible, simply by "changing one or two steps."
International Court of Justice rule on Israel genocide
On Thursday of this week, the UN's International Court of Justice heard the case brought by South Africa that accuses Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinian people. They ask the court to prohibit the military operations. Israel have denied claims of genocide, and will present their defence today.
What impact will the ruling have? This is not a criminal trial, and though legally binding, the ruling will not be enforceable. It will carry a lot of weight in public opinion however, and will likely cause action by other nations and international institutions. The court ruling on genocide allegations could take years to be formally decided, however.
What is genocide? Under international law, genocide is defined as committing one or more acts with the intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. In Gaza, more than 23,350 people have been killed since the war began in October. 1 out of every 100 civilians in Gaza have been killed, and 1 in every 10 journalists killed.
The motherhood penalty 🤰 at work
The evidence is pretty clear - having a baby is bad for your career and earnings, but only for women. But more than that, having a baby for a man can actually be a career advantage - fathers are seen as reliable and decisive which can result in more opportunities and pay, research has uncovered.
The motherhood penalty means mothers are:
🧑💼 less likely to have training opportunities
👷♀️ less likely to have promotion prospects
👩🌾 more likely to work part-time
👩💻 more likely to be in 'lower-quality jobs'
For fathers, long working hours and good progression opportunities are considered the norm. This means women are still trapped by outdated patriarchal gender roles. Employers need to wake up to the effect this is having and start making meaningful changes. Supporting the well-being of parents, ensuring progression for part-timers, and making genuine commitments to flexible working patterns could make a big difference.
THIS WEEK WE'RE LOVING ✨
♿️ New accessible trail in the Lake District
🏆 The most powerful speech at the Golden Globes
🤣 Selena Gomez bringing the workplace tea