Diverse Magazine Group

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DIVERSITY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE: IT’S A SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS

The workers of Whitehall are still mostly white and male. Reports that there are more ethnic minority civil servants now is undercut by the realisation that their chance of promotion is on the slide. Who didn’t love the Machiavellian trio who ran the country in Yes Minister? They were very sharp-witted, very articulate, very learned, very male and very white. When dramatic threat was needed, an assertive woman was thrown into the mix, and as far as Sir Humphrey was concerned, she may as well have been a Visigoth. Things aren’t that bad in today’s civil service. But they are a...

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LIVERPOOL ROAD NAMED AFTER LOCAL HERO

A brand new road has been officially named Herbie Higgins Close, as a tribute to the local community leader who dedicated many years to improving the lives of the residents of the inner city community of Toxteth, Liverpool. Gleeson Homes made the special tribute to Herbie on the road which forms the latest phase of their Cawdor Park housing development in Granby. Herbie, who died in 2011 age 89, was instrumental in opening the first Merseyside Caribbean Centre and setting up the Liverpool Branch of the Community Relations Centre. He was awarded an MBE in 1996 for outstanding community service....

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WOMEN ARE NOT THE ONLY VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

It’s good Angelina Jolie is highlighting the horror of sex as a war weapon, but the campaign risks overlooking male, transgender and peacetime victims. This week Angelina Jolie expressed her hope that a summit hosted by the UK government in June will lead to increased prevention of sexual violence in armed conflict. Sexual violence is one of the many horrific facets of violent conflict and any steps taken to prevent it and to support the survivors are extremely important. However, there is a risk that narrowly focusing on sexual violence alone may not only fall short of the mark but also...

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EMPLOYERS SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGE NEED TO MAKE FEMALE TALENT A CORE BUSINESS PRIORITY

“Project 28-40 – The Report” is a reality check for employers.   There is a gap between organisational policies and the actual experiences of 28-40 women at work, including real challenges on bullying and harassment. Women want excellent line management – the basics are far more important than more female only programmes. Flexible working is essential to women in balancing their commitments, but the stigma attached can be an obstacle to progression. Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and Chair of Opportunity Now, said: “If business leaders are serious about change, we need to take the lead on women’s...

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‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’: THE FIGHT AGAINST EVERYDAY SEXISM

When Laura Bates set up her blog Everyday Sexism, she was told to relax: the battle for equality was pretty much won, wasn’t it? Here, she looks at the extraordinary pressures on girls today. Everyone has a tipping point. The funny thing is that when mine came, in March 2012, it wasn’t something dramatic. It was just another week of little pinpricks: the man who appeared as I sat outside a cafe, seized my hand and refused to let go; the guy who followed me off the bus and propositioned me all the way to my front door; the man who made a sexual gesture and...

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‘ONE IN, ONE OUT’ FOR FEMALE DIRECTORS

Study raises question of tokenism as FTSE 350 firms likely to appoint female director only as successor to another woman. The UK’s biggest companies are likely to appoint a female director only if the post has been vacated by another woman, according to research that suggests sex bias is entrenched at the top of British business. The report’s authors analysed the board composition and performance between 1996 and 2010 of companies listed on the FTSE 350 index, and say their research raises questions about whether companies are guilty of tokenism, and are failing to understand the moral case for bringing...

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MY UNIVERSITY PAYS LIP SERVICE TO EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

Universities trot out BME staff for photos in their prospectuses, but when it comes to promotions, we are left at the end of the queue. I am a member of my university’s BME staff group. Over the years, it has changed from a forum for us to discuss issues of racism, representation, and discrimination, to a co-opted showpiece for the university to show that it is doing its bit towards supporting equality. Many of us stopped attending meetings when we realised what this new incarnation meant. Our current BME staff tick lots of boxes for the university: we appear in the...

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DIVERSITY DEFICIT ROBS TOP FIRMS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES, STUDY SHOWS

According to Green Park study, among the 289 executive roles just 10 were held by people from ethnic minorities. Britain’s biggest companies have been warnedthat they are missing out on business opportunities because of the “diversity deficit” at the top of their organisations, where only a handful of senior roles are held by women or ethnic minorities. A new analysis into the 100 top individuals at each of the 100 largest UK companies found that only three of the chairmen (there is only one woman chair in the FTSE 100) were not white, all but five chief executives were white and...

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AT WORK: M&S DECISION GETS TO THE MEAT OF THE MATTER

M&S says its staff can refuse to sell pork and alcohol for religious reasons, opening up questions over best practice for employers faced with such decisions. With the news that M&S staff have been allowed to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products on religious grounds, interesting issues are raised about rights of religious freedom in the workplace. Not least, did M&S have to implement this policy? The simple answer is no, but it (as with any other employer) could have faced a risk of a claim for discrimination if it did not have good grounds to insist that...

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MERSEYSIDE BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013 CELEBRATIONS HAILED AS THE BEST YET

As the 2013 Black History Month drew to a close on October 31st the Merseyside Black History Month Group announced that its calendar of events for 2013 was the most successful to date. The full month of activity featured scores of events across the region, highlighted by a brand new urban youth station Beat FM, the Cultural Food Feast at Sefton Park Palm House and the prestigious Black Achievers Awards at St George’s Hall on October 26th. Chair Clint Agard said, “It is indeed testament to the strong partnerships that we have managed to maintain in the region, through difficult...