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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

08 May 2020

Diversity Lens - Issue 25

May 8

Diversity Lens - Issue 25

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. We hope you are all keeping safe and adhering to social distancing guidelines in this turbulent time.
Latest News

The DIVA Survey: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020.
As part of the first ever Lesbian Visibility Week, observed a couple of weeks ago, DIVA Media Group teamed up with Kantar for The DIVA Survey. This is brand new research conducted to gain important insight into diversity statistics and highlight the challenges faced by the LGBTQI community. Key findings include; 79% think LGBTQ+ men experience more visibility than women; over half of LGBTQ+ women were not fully out at work; and 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ women have experienced verbal or physical abuse due to their sexuality. Visibility is so important in tackling this adversity. One respondent shared a positive story of visibility: "When my wife and I got married, our four-year-old daughter was so proud she stood up and told the whole school in assembly. What followed was weeks of lesbian 'weddings' on the playground". Click the photo for further findings of the survey.

Lil Nas X: ‘I 100% want to represent the LGBT community’
Lil Nas X rose to fame rapidly with his massive hit single, Old Town Road last year. Growing up in a small, conservative community in Georgia, he had planned to remain in the closet his whole life. That all changed when the twenty-year-old became a global superstar and a queer icon. Nas admits that he took on a persona for many years as a struggling musician, as a heterosexual, macho rapper. Thankfully, he overcame these obstacles and since coming out casually in a tweet, has become a mainstream queer figure. He is an inspiration for his gender nonconforming fashion style and for providing much needed intersectional representation in the industry. He joins artists such as Frank Ocean, Kevin Abstract and Doja Cat who are challenging the dominance of heterosexuality in rap. Click Here to read his full interview

University Challenge’s US star: the team would have killed it without me
Brandon Blackwell is one of the very few black quizzers to appear on the popular BBC show, University Challenge, and he is committed to making quiz teams more diverse. He points out how many university selection processes aren't fully inclusive so that minority groups and women can feel too intimidated to apply. They also risk exposing themselves to abuse from the public once the episode has aired, an experience which unfortunately is not rare. Blackwell himself experienced backlash from viewers due to his emotive reactions which consisted of small smiles and nods, appearing as arrogant to some British viewers. Blackwell explained that his micro-movements were misunderstood due to cultural differences, being from Queens, New York. He found the backlash from his 'emotive' reactions amusing, but emphasises that "representation does matter" on the quiz scene. Read more from Blackwell by Click Here

We urgently need to #SupportSurvivors
With entire families in lockdown, we are experiencing a potentially lethal time for those impacted by domestic abuse. Indeed, there has already been a marked increase in calls to the Women's Aid charity. Chief Executive Sarah Benson said: "Domestic violence and abuse is always a frightening situation to be living with, but at the moment there's increased levels of anxiety and fear, and a sense of isolation and hopelessness". However, some organisations have received a decrease in calls received as with a partner always at home, there may be no opportunity to make that call safely. A government campaign #YouAreNotAlone has been to launched in an effort to support victims in this period, publicising the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247, and showing adverts to raise awareness. Additionally, domestic abuse services are due to receive an extra 2 million of funding to bolster the helplines and online support. Anyone in immediate danger should call 999 and press 55 on a mobile if they are unable to talk. Donate to Women's Aid by clicking the photo below.

Diversity and Inclusion Insights

How Diversity Heads Are Steering Their Companies Through The COVID-19 Crisis
With the current pandemic forcing businesses to think on their feet and adapt rapidly, a Forbes article has suggested that those with strong diversity and inclusion policies are able to manage this uncertain time most effectively. Inclusivity must be at the core of an organisation's coronavirus response in order to equip their whole workforce and cater to each diverse circumstance, including employees who are care-givers (disproportionately women and people of colour). "Flexibility is the keyword across the board" the article states, which has long been a key facet of diversity and inclusion initiatives. Employee engagement and a sense of belonging is another essential aspect and we have seen many companies transition into virtual socialising and well-being check-ups. Businesses have had to become a lot more conscious of their workers' mental health and how they can choose to impact it. Read the full article by clicking the photo below.

LNER Reserves reach 2,000 volunteering hours milestone
LNER workers have come together in large numbers to volunteer for the NHS, emergency services and charities. They have collectively clocked up over 2000 hours of service in just a couple of weeks. LNER Reserves was launched by the company as a response to the pandemic in order to encourage and support employees to get involved with volunteering and help connect them to organisations in need. One worker, Travel consultant, Penny Bond signed up to support Age UK, the NHS and The British Red Cross. She is also running a project called ‘A letter to a friend, a letter of joy’ which works to send letters and pictures to care home residents to brighten their day. Watch more of their stories in the video below.
"A growing army of volunteers who are willing to help their communities"
Story of the Week

Ultra-Orthodox and trans: 'I prayed to God to make me a girl'
Despite not knowing that transgender people existed, having access to the internet or any sort of like-minded community, Abby Stein saw herself as a girl for most of her life. Stein is a direct descendent of the Hasidic Judaism founder and after his five girls were born, a lot of emphasis was placed on Stein as his first son and future rabbi. The Hasidic community is one of the most gender-segregated societies in existence; boys and girls are kept almost entirely separated, preschool is gender segregated and even opposite sex relations are not encouraged to touch or hug. Stein struggled in extreme isolation through the first hair cut at age three called the 'upsherin', which physically indicates a male gender, and through the traditional bar mitzvah at age 13, an indicator of manhood. Stein followed the path laid out for her and entered into an arranged marriage at 18. It was when her wife became pregnant that Stein broke: "It was like gender was hitting me in the face". She accessed the forbidden internet and found a like-minded community; she stopped observing religion and left that world behind. Despite her parents and six of her eight siblings refusing any communication, Stein is the happiest she has ever been: "Being out as ourselves, being trans, being LGBTQ, is something that creates a life worthy of celebration, not just worthy of living. It's beautiful." Read more on her exceptional story by clicking the image below.

Featured Video

Jamie Wildman came out as non-binary at the age of 69 in an interview with PinkNews. Just a couple weeks ago, aged 70, Wildman sadly lost their battle with cancer. Wildman was passionate about LGBTQ+ visibility and participated in the Young Vic's Taking Part project 'Carnation for a Song', a celebration and exploration of the lives of older queer Londoners. Wildman also worked closely with The Outside Project, combatting the disproportionate levels of homelessness within the LGBTQ+ community. We will always remember their LGBTQ+ legacy. Click the video below to watch their exclusive interview with PinkNews.
“For people that have their preconceived their ideas of what a 69-year-old person should look like – ‘it’s wrong to be gay, you’re this, you’re that, the other, don’t have tattoos, you look like a criminal’ – oh lordy, just let me be myself."
Inspirational Person of the Week

Nora Lum or Awkwafina
Nora Lum is an American rapper and actress born to a Chinese American father and a South Korean mother. She recently appeared in Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, which boast an all-female and all-asian cast respectively. Lum enthuses that “the landscape is changing” in Hollywood, and for many, Lum is a symbol of Hollywood's more racially inclusive future. She credits her grandmother for her strength, stating “she taught me that Asian women are strong, they’re not meek orchard-dwelling figures”. Her performative self, Awkwafina, embodies this strength and confidence. Most recently, she made history by becoming the first Asian-American to win a lead actress trophy at the Golden Globes for her role in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. She was also the first Asian woman to host Saturday Night Live since 2000.

Click Here  to read an interview from the Guardian.

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