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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

04 Dec 2020

Diversity Lens - Issue 55

Dec 4

Diversity Lens - Issue 55

Welcome to Diversity Lens

Diversify your news consumption.
This week we share with you news of Barack Obama's new book and a powerful new audio documentary on equal rights in tennis. We look at the struggle for transgender rights in professional spaces, whilst revealing the first major queer Christmas movie. Also this week, Black Lives Matter from an 11-year-old's perspective.


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Transgender struggle: 'I had to keep who I was secret'

The BBC spotlight stories of transgender women fighting to merely exist with dignity in professional workspaces. Caroline Paige reflects on her career in the air-force, transitioning at a time when LGBTQ+ people were barred from participating in the armed forces. She fought her case and became the first transgender officer to serve openly in the Britain's armed forces. In Bangkok, known as an Asian country more tolerant of transgender people, Kath Khangpiboon exposes the reality of working there outside of the entertainment industry.
"For lawyers, lecturers and teachers [it] is different, because transgender people are not allowed in a professional society."
Diversity Consultant Lily Zheng says the onus is on the leaders, not the workers to make these environments more inclusive and supportive for transgender employees. Read more... (5 minutes)
Barack Obama on the BBC: “The world can change, but you have to be part of it”

Barack Obama spoke with David Olusoga for the BBC to discuss his time in office and the events of 2020. The former president has reappeared in the public eye due to the release of his memoir, A Promised Land. He returns to the scene at a politically fraught time in the US as we come to the end of Trump's presidency and the slow transition period. Obama appears, according to Olusoga, as "a disappointed parent surveying the damage wreaked by a raucous teenage party". His book covers the milestone of an African American family in the Whitehouse, the hostility they faced and the hate directed at Michelle. However, he remains persistently optimistic in the progress of the country.
Read more... (5 minutes)
Billie Jean King on a new audible documentary that tells the story of her powerful legacy — on and off the court

Audible is realising an audio documentary on the life of Billie Jean King. The doc goes beyond the 1973 tennis match coined the ‘battle of the sexes’ against Bobby Riggs to focus on King’s “real signature achievement”. Three years earlier, King and eight other female tennis players formed their own professional tour, known today as the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). King recounts the experience herself, narrating her journey from a “sports-mad childhood” to the legacy of what is known now as the ‘Original Nine’.

"Rod Laver wins Wimbledon and is paid 2,000 British pounds. I won and was paid $750."

Read time... (7 minutes)


A cautious optimism for job seekers
"It is emerging and established creatives who have dragged us through these difficult times, and it looks like they will solidify this position of importance"
Our very own PA to CEO & Marketing Assistant, Cressida shares her thoughts on this new age of job seekers, emerging with a cautious optimism. She takes stock of the wave of entrepreneurship since the pandemic hit and the welcome shift in careers for many. You can read her piece on our website now.
Have female CEOs coped better with Covid than men?
There is a widely-held belief that countries governed by women have coped better than their male counterparts, but is it the same in the business world? The BBC examine this, and whether there is a 'female style' of leadership. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-First, claims that female leadership is less "combative, individualistic" and more reliant on good communication. Sarah Beale, chief executive of the UK's Construction Industry Training Board, adds that women can exercise more empathy in their leadership approach.
"Now it is acceptable to juggle things, and you don't have to be a hardnosed businesswoman of the 1980s."
The recent advancement of flexible working and visibility of a work-life balance may have contributed to this disparity in leadership styles.
Read more... (5 minutes)


Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis: 'It's a gay Christmas movie. That's a huge exhale'

Happiest Season is the first mainstream festive film release about a same-sex couple. It feels like something we should have experienced some time ago.

“It’s a gay Christmas movie,” says Kristen Stewart. “And I know that’s an annoying thing to label it right off the bat, but, for me, that is extremely attractive”

The familiar plot follows a couple navigating the conservative family dynamics they return to for the festive period. While the narrative has been criticised by some as stereotypical and tired - a closeted gay person hiding their sexual identity to their family - being the first of its kind, we might be able to forgive its reliance on these tropes. Not only is it the first mainstream gay Christmas movie, but the queer characters are actually played by queer actors, an achievement that shouldn’t be significant but is in light of Hollywood’s history of problematic casting. In this interview with the two leads, Stewart describes the lack of queer lead representation she saw growing up and the pride she feels now being part of this major touchstone.

Read more... (9 minutes)


What Black Lives Matter means to an 11-year-old
"My skin is not a threat" - Jolia Bossette's speech at her fifth-grade graduation


Drago Renteria


The Deaf Queer Resource Center (DQRC) was launched 25 years ago by founder and current Executive Director, Drago Renteria and still remains one of the only resources of it's kind in the United States. Although, there has been much progress in the LGBTQ+ community, many of it's centers do not provide an accessible environment for people with hearing difficulties. To remedy this, DQRC has focused less on activism and more on offering services to community centers that cannot afford to hire interpreters. This decision to increase versatility has made Renteria a notable figure, even earning him a nomination for the LGBTQ Nation Hero of the Year.
"He was one of the first Deaf persons to publicly transition from female to male, paving the way for others to unashamedly follow. As a Latinx person, he has also inspired me, a white cis gay male, to think and speak out about intersectionality, social justice and transgender rights.”
Furthermore, DQRC was instrumental in launching National Deaf Awareness week in the US which began back in 2018. However, this success has come about after decades of discrimination. Renteria recalls instances of homophobia at deaf conferences where his presentations were heckled and interrupted by members of the audience. If anything, moments like this only strengthens Renteria's determination as he continues to campaign and raise awareness for this often unacknowledged section of society.

Read more... (2 minutes)

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