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MARCH 2, 2021 //     

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – What We Read and Discussed (February 2021)

By Henry Mubiru

At Allison+Partners, we are dedicated to ongoing learning around the issues – both historically and presently – that marginalised communities have struggled with and unfortunately continue to face today. We know that it is through a strong commitment to education that we can start to create real change and begin to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We strongly believe in fostering a culture where employees feel that they can bring their whole selves to work, and where we support, listen to, and encourage one another.

As part of our larger programme, each week our DE&I committee curates an internal newsletter that covers the wide-ranging topics that fall under the DE&I umbrella – race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and others such as neuro diversity. We read, watch and listen to various pieces of content; discuss, and reflect on how these topics affect our lives as well as how we can learn from them to be better as individuals and at work. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this important work and have decided to launch a blog series, highlighting some of the most impactful content to help extend the dialogue beyond our organisation.

Please see below for some of the DE&I content highlights that we read and discussed in February. Some of the content does explore some very challenging issues, but we believe that being prepared to have uncomfortable conversations is key to creating real change.   

 

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH

BBC Sport: Six LGBT+ sportspeople you should know more about

To mark the start of LGBT+ History Month, BBC Sport looked at the lives of six LGBT+ sportspeople who made history in their respective sports, but whose stories may not be as widely known. From the first known British transgender woman to a Wimbledon champion, an NFL Pro-Bowler and a sprinter who successfully challenged her sport's governing body.

BBC Three: Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay

This 1-hour documentary follows lead singer of Years & Years, Olly Alexander, as he uncovers the connection between the LGBTQ+ community and mental health. He also speaks with young people on their journeys in battling issues that mirror his own – from homophobic bullying, to eating and anxiety disorders – and along the way, he questions what can be done to address them.

 

Channel 4: It’s a Sin

It’s a Sin, which Olly also stars in, is about a group of gay men who move to London in 1981 and form a friendship group, but the fast-developing HIV/AIDS crisis in the United Kingdom impacts their lives.

 

BBC News: Owain Wyn Evan

BBC North West weather presenter Owain Wyn Evan spoke about what it was like growing up in South Wales, coming out at his first presenting job, and how he still receives homophobic messages on social media.

 

GENDER

The Independent: Why some young people need help exploring their gender identity

Young trans people face numerous challenges in life. These can include social discrimination, bullying, harassment and family rejection. It’s maybe not surprising then that trans youth are also at much higher risk of self-harm and suicide attempts than their peers. Research shows that for some young trans people, puberty blocking drugs can help while they explore their gender identity. Puberty blockers are medications that temporarily cause the body to stop producing sex hormones and so delay puberty.

 

RELIGION

BBC News: Supermodel Halima Aden: ‘Why I quit’

Halima Aden, the first hijab-wearing supermodel, quit the fashion industry in November saying it was incompatible with her Muslim religion. Here, in an exclusive interview, she tells BBC Global Religion reporter Sodaba Haidare the full story - how she became a model, and how she reached the decision to walk away.

 

RACE

Gal-dem: How Bridgerton, the ‘diverse’ period drama, actually treats people of colour

While the ills of racism have apparently been defeated in Bridgerton‘s depiction of 19th century England, the show itself suffers from aspects of prejudice and discrimination that persist today. The show’s diversity rings hollow given that dark-skinned Black women are mostly relegated to the background. Indeed, while people of colour are embraced into the fold of Bridgerton‘s noble families, the show still appears to indicate they are outliers, as the majority of its main cast is white.

 

To learn more about Allison+Partners DE&I work in the UK, please check out our recent blog post, “Building a diverse and inclusive workplace” by Partner and Managing Director, Jim Selman.

 

 

 

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