Improving ethnic diversity

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News! There are many reports you may wish to read and explore this week.

There is of course the government’s response to the Sewell inquiry titled “Inclusive Britain”. There is also the latest report by the Creative Diversity Network – the industry body set up to monitor and push for more diversity in the UK television sector – that has disappointedly found a “lack of real progress”. The Royal Society of Chemistry’s investigation has also revealed that out of 575 chemistry professors in the UK, just one is black. Similarly, the report on ethnic diversity in UK Boards says that eleven FTSE 100 companies have failed to meet the Parker Review’s goal to have at least one director from a minority ethnic background by December 2021.

The TV programme that I would recommend watching is “Computer Says No”. It’s about how algorithm and computer-automated hiring can increase discrimination.

Also, in case you don’t know, demonstrations will be taking place in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, as well as globally, to mark UN Anti-Racism Day on March 19 and 20.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera

 

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UK NEWS

 EDUCATION

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Survey shows teachers unaware equality laws apply to pupils’ hair, The Guardian, 16 March 2022

“Just 12% of teachers polled received equality and diversity training that included policies on hair… More than three-quarters of teachers had not received any training on how the 2010 Equality Act applies to school uniform and appearance policies, according to a poll of 500 teachers in a report for the World Afro Day campaign and Shift Insight consultancy…Since 2020 schools in the UK have been able to sign up to the Halo Code, which pledges to end discrimination against black hairstyles.”

Why are Chinese students so keen on the UK?, BBC News, 5 March 2022

“There are about 144,000 in Britain according to the Higher Education Statistics Authority, a number that is up 50% in just five years…the central problem is that these students tend to be regarded and treated as a homogeneous bloc, both in the public discourse and also by university administrators. “They are treated as a faceless group that shares certain negative stereotypes,” she says. “[But] they’re extremely heterogeneous, extremely diverse – they are very, very vibrant.””

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Creative Diversity Network Report

Diversity report reveals ‘lack of real progress’, Televisual, 15 March 2022

“But it’s a challenge to celebrate when five years on from our first report, the vast majority of our industry’s power-brokers – who commission content and run indies and broadcasters – are still from such a narrow range of backgrounds. Our analysis is that too much activity has been focused on increasing diversity at entry levels rather than breaking down the barriers to senior level representation. Diamond is a measuring tool, not the end product. Five years of data shows that concerted industry action is more important than ever.”” Read the Report here.

Star of ‘The Black Cop’ film calls London police out on racism, Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 14 March 2022

“London police are still institutionally racist despite vowing to reform two decades ago, said the city’s first openly gay Black officer, whose story won a top film award. “The Black Cop“, commissioned by The Guardian newspaper, won the British Short Film category at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.

Barbie Releases Doll Of Dame Pat Mcgrath Ahead Of International Women’s Day, The Independent, 3 March 2022

“The makers of Barbie have released a new doll in the likeness of makeup artist and businesswomen Dame Pat McGrath in celebration of female founders this International Women’s Day.”

 Loose Women studio erupts in chaos as panellists clash over racism at Ukraine borders, Mirror, 1 March 2022

“Discussing it, Charlene told her fellow panellists: “But there is one thing that has really shone a light on where I’m concerned, that has really stuck out to me, is that in the midst of all of this, the midst of people trying to flee from their homes, the midst of them trying to dodge bullets and bombs, they still have time for racism.”

SCIENCE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Chemistry Race Inequalities

Royal Society of Chemistry report says racism ‘pervasive’, BBC News, 16 March 2022

“Of the 575 chemistry professors in the UK, just one is black…The RSC has published an investigation which shows that racism is ”pervasive” in the field. The report finds that it is “hard to challenge” and marginalisation of minorities has become “normalised” in universities and industry.”

Black Nurses on the Frontline, Now Then Magazine Sheffield, 14 March 2022

“The NHS is struggling to train and retain nursing staff and one in ten nursing positions is empty. It seems like a good time to think back on the experiences of Black nurses in the UK and in Sheffield, especially in the wake of a conference, report and film launch of Nursing Narratives: Racism and the Pandemic, which happened at Hallam University’s City Campus earlier this month.”

Managing discrimination from patients and their guardians and relatives, BMA, March 2022

“This guidance gives background information and steps that all employers and healthcare workers should take when incidences of discrimination against a healthcare worker occur.” Read the Guidance here.

Study reveals stark disparities in cancer rates between ethnic groups, The Guardian, 2 March 2022

“…black people are twice as likely to get prostate cancer while white people have double the chance of getting skin and lung cancers… The study also found that black people are more likely to get stomach and liver cancers, and Asian people are more likely to get liver cancers…”

Unpaid carers continue to suffer poorer health- with some groups adversely affected, Carers UK, 28 February 2022

“The findings are revealed in the report ‘Carers Health and experiences of primary care, the charity’s examination of unpaid carers’ responses to the 2021 GP Patient Survey. This annual research is commissioned independently by NHS England to identify patient experiences and general health. Of the 850,000 responses, nearly 1 in 5, (18%) have some unpaid caring responsibilities.”

 TECH

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Watch: Computer Says No, BBC3, 16 March 2022

“If you’re applying for a job today, your application could go through several stages before it is seen by a human. BBC journalist and former recruiter Daniel Henry deep dives into this new world of algorithm and computer-automated hiring… Daniel is keen to look at the accuracy of technology that might be used by companies. With the help of academics, he discovers how race, gender and emotion can be misinterpreted by some facial analysis technology, and he finds out that voice transcription services still struggle with accuracy when faced with regional UK accents.”

Tech leaders could face jail time and big fines under UK’s Online Safety Bill, Euronews,, 18 March 2022

“The UK government on Thursday unveiled in Parliament its ambitious but controversial Online Safety Bill – draft legislation that would give regulators wide-ranging powers to crack down on digital and social media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. Authorities in the United Kingdom are the vanguard of a global movement to rein in the power of tech platforms and make them more responsible for harmful material such as child sex abuse, racist content, bullying, fraud and other harmful material that proliferates on their platforms…The government said it would outline categories of harmful but legal material…That’s aimed at addressing concerns of digital activists who worried the law would crimp freedom of speech and expression because companies would be overzealous in removing material that upsets or offends people but isn’t prohibited.”

Google supports black-led tech start-ups in hunt for venture capital, The Voice, 16 March 2022

“The first Black Founders Fund, launched last year, offered $2 million worth of funding to 30 Black-led start-ups across Europe, 20 of which are located in the UK…The success of last year’s cohort shows the impact that direct and targeted support can have in helping to level the playing field, by supporting Black founders who are disproportionately locked out of access to capital. Across Europe, the founders raised an additional $63 million in follow-on funding and increased their headcount by 21 per cent. In 2021, seven of the 16 Black women to receive funding in the UK were part of the Black Founders Fund program and eight of the founders were featured in Europe’s top 10 Black Founders to watch.”

 

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

Ethnic Diversity UK Boards

FTSE 100 disappoints on Parker Review diversity goal, HR Magazine, 16 March 2022

“Eleven FTSE 100 companies have failed to meet the Parker Review’s goal to have at least one director from a minority ethnic background by December 2021.” Read the Report here.

These are the countries which have the most diverse workforces, The Scotsman, 18 March 2022

“The UK is leagues behind other countries when it comes to providing for a diverse workforce – with employees less able to progress through the ranks on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.”

Five ways to embed diversity in your supply chain, Pioneers Post, 14 March 2022

“An audit of your supply chain is a good starting point…This might require upfront resource, but understanding where you are starting from can make goal-setting and targets more effective and realistic. Consider building diversity questions into your supplier assessment and onboarding processes. Make it clear to your suppliers and your procurement team that supplier diversity is important to you. Requiring suppliers to have a diversity and inclusion policy is one way of doing this. As part of the contract specifications, consider including requirements that any jobs created from the contract should be distributed equally.”

UK businesses join consortium to recruit Ukrainian refugees, Personnel Today, 14 March 2022

“A consortium of UK businesses has launched an initiative to make it easier to offer employment to Ukrainian refugees. More than 45 companies, including M&S, Asos, Lush and recruiter Robert Walters have joined the initiative, led by entrepreneur Emma Sinclair…A jobs board, JobForUkraine.net, was launched last week by Valeriia Voshchevska, a Ukrainian living in London. There are more than 1,700 posts available in academic, scientific and arts-based fields.”

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

Inclusive Britain Report

UK government to scrap ‘BAME’ in response to race inquiry, The Guardian, 16 March 2022

“Response to Sewell inquiry also lays out plans for greater police scrutiny and a ‘model history curriculum’.” Read the report here.

Nazanin, Ashoori arrive in Britain after Iran prison ordeal, Reuters, 17 March 2022

“British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and dual national Anoosheh Ashoori arrived in Britain from Iran on Thursday, ending an ordeal during which they became a bargaining chip in Iran’s talks with the West over its nuclear programme.”

SNP action on Islamophobia is welcome – now let’s see Westminster parties follow suit, Herald Scotland, 16 March 2022

“The APPG definition responds to this Islamophobia. The APPG recognises that the effects of Islamophobia “are seen in individual behaviours and institutional processes.”… Every definition of Islamophobia has its weaknesses. However, the SNP’s adoption of the APPG definition of Islamophobia is very welcome. The time has now come for the UK government to do the same.”

Tory councillor calls for Anglophobia to be recognised like Islamophobia, The London Economic, 17 March 2022

“Tory councillor for Keith and Cullen Donald Gatt welcomed the strengthening of the council’s equalities policies. He said: “Any victimisation of people because of their race or their religion or their colour is to be condemned utterly. “Sadly I do have to report about two years ago I myself was subject to it. “I was told to go back to England and I was born in Perth, so I’m as Scottish as anybody else. “I would welcome any other moves to eradicate this hatred we have in society whether it’s Islamophobia, Anglophobia or antisemitism.””

More than 100,000 Britons offer to take in Ukrainian refugees, The Guardian, 15 March 2022

“Until Monday, only Ukrainians with family links to the UK could apply for visas that would give them access to work and benefits. But on Monday, the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, announced that sponsors could bring any Ukrainian to the UK to live in their home for a minimum of six months, for which they would receive a £350 monthly payment. Under the scheme, refugees would be allowed to live and work in the UK for up to three years and receive full and unrestricted access to benefits, healthcare, employment and other support.”

PCS withdraws from Cabinet Office review into racism and discrimination, Civil Service World, 14 March 2022

“Civil service’s biggest union accuses department of carrying out “exercise in damage limitation”.”

Birmingham: Labour holds seat in Erdington by-election, BBC News, 4 March 2022

“Nurse Paulette Hamilton polled 9,413 votes, 55% of ballots cast, as Labour increased its vote share from 50.3% in 2019. She has become Birmingham’s first black MP and revealed her father died just as her campaign started. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted his congratulations to Ms Hamilton saying “You’ve made history”.”

JUSTICE & POLICE

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Proportion of remand prisoners who are minority ethnic rises 17% in six years, The Guardian, 17 March 2022

“People from Black or minority ethnic background make up 34% of those held on remand, latest figures for England and Wales show…The remand population is particularly at risk of self-harm and suicide. From September 2020 to September 2021, 34 out of 81 prisoners (42%) who died by suicide were on remand, despite this group making up only 16% of the overall prison population.”

Racism cited as factor in police strip search of girl, 15, at London school, The Guardian, 15 March 2022

“Black child’s ordeal, which involved exposure of intimate body parts, took place without parental consent, review finds…Those who carried out the review were in agreement, concluding that racism was likely to have been an “influencing factor” in the strip search, and that the child had been subjected to “adultification” bias – where black and global majority children are held to adult standards, but their white peers are less likely to be.”

Record number of suspected modern slavery victims in UK, Cumnock Chronicle, 3 March 2022

“The number of suspected modern slavery victims in the UK has risen to its highest level in more than a decade, figures show….A rise in the number of cases relating to county lines drug gangs, a trend which began in 2020 and continued into the following year, is thought to be in part behind the increase in referrals over the possible criminal exploitation of children, according to the report…According to the figures, 31% of people referred were UK nationals (3,952) with Albanians (20%; 2,511) and Vietnamese (8%; 991) being the second and third most common nationalities.”

GREEN & ENVIRONMENT

Disaster Trade

What your T-shirt reveals about ‘carbon colonialism’ and the global economy’s vast hidden emissions, The Conversation, 16 March 2022

“Cambodia exports 40,000 tonnes of garments to the UK annually (4% of British clothing), and most depart from the port of Sihanoukville. At 18,244km from the UK’s main shipping port, Felixstowe, that’s a huge distance for your T-shirt to travel. But as colleagues and I revealed in our recent research, this is only the final leg of an even longer journey.”

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Londoners more likely to be affected by climate emergency, Environment Journal, 17 March 2022

“City Hall analysis has shown that if necessary action is not taken and extreme temperatures and floods continue to get worse, a quarter of London’s rail stations, 1 in 5 schools, nearly half of London hospitals and hundreds of thousands of homes and workplaces will be at risk of flooding in the future.” Find out more here.

SPORT

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Rio Ferdinand: Man sentenced over racist tweets to commentator during Euro 2020, BBC News, 2 March 2022

“A man who racially abused Rio Ferdinand on Twitter after the Euro 2020 final has been given a suspended sentence. Robert Whippe, 64, admitted directing two tweets featuring monkey and banana emojis at the former England player over his commentary, St Albans Magistrates’ Court heard.”

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