Diversity in Britain – 2021 Census Countdown!

March 2021 will have the new census rolled out across the UK. 10 years on and the survey is set to capture new  details on our ever changing population. This time it seems that increased precision is a feature of the survey, with brand new questions and categories added. Social research and feedback from the public has led to the introduction of gender identity as a new category and the question on sexual orientation being further developed.

Population count and ethnicity make up is another one to watch, calculations of the last 2011 census recorded that 14% of the UK population are Non-British White. We wonder how the figures have changed in the last 10 years with contributions of net migration but also the factor of covid-related emigration?
It was recently reported by the Financial Times that a whopping 1.3 million foreign-born people are estimated to have left the UK in the last 12 months due to the covid crisis, with 700,000 leaving from London alone.

So what does that mean for the British economy? Sectors such as retail and hospitality have always been popular with immigrants, £130 billion in annual revenue comes from hospitality alone but since March 2020 these two industries were some of the first to go under. This effectively has left a massive hole in the economy and has resulted in many migrants leaving the UK as an outcome.

Regardless, it’s high time to encapsulate the new changes in culture, society and diversity as a whole. It’s been quite a decade but hopefully the new data will help guide us to where we imagine ourselves to be.

Roll on census 2021!

#census2021 #diversity #UKpopulation #genderidentitycensus #sexualorientation

The Impact of Social Conditioning on Recruitment

By Sonia Srivastava, DECA Business Director

Yesterday as I was scrolling through my LinkedIn and I saw a Guardian newspaper article from last year: “Minority ethnic Britons face ‘shocking’ job discrimination”.  My immediate thought was shocking for whom? Certainly not for me, who also intersects as a single parent to a half-Polish child, or to most minorities I know. The article went on to say that “applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds had to send 80% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin”.

So far, unsurprising. Nor was I shocked to read this has remained unchanged since a study in 1969. It has been conditioned in me from as far back as I remember that I had to work twice as hard, for half the gain as a minority immigrant woman of colour. And more so, to be grateful for the ‘opportunity’.

 This has been conditioned into people by people before them, and before them and before them – you get the gist. I remember a couple of years ago, a recruiter told me bluntly yet kindly, not to include my name or age on my CV.  This, he said, would give me ‘best’ chance of getting ‘selected’ at the initial hurdle.  

The initial hurdle being either a software using block words to describe me as my ethnicity, age, sex etc or a human who cannot pronounce my name. The recruiter was a friend; it is what he knows, along with most minoritised individuals.  My reaction to his well-meant advice was resignation to the realities of UK job hunting for people who look and sound like me. But recently my reaction has changed, in no small part due to starting a job at DECA. 

For the first time in my career span of 12 years my identity is celebrated.  Not just by people who are exactly like me but by people who are similar to me by their difference to the ‘mainstream’.  Those who understand what it means to be othered. We at DECA openly discuss, debate and exchange ideas that are mostly not even murmured in other companies. We then empower businesses to speak louder about diversity in-house and outwardly, understand it, celebrate it and yes, seek the financial dividend from it as well.
 Back to my original point  though, if you are job hunting and think you have the skills for a job with us or our sister company Brand Advance, do please apply even if you are white. We won’t hold it against you. 

5 Things We Are Leaving Behind in 2020: Diversity Edition

By Eberé Anosike, Diversity Media Consultant @ DECA

 Upon reflection of the last year here are 5 things we are leaving behind in 2020 in the area of diversity.

If the last 365 days (2020) has taught us anything, it would probably  be that the nature of human beings is constantly being tested and going  through radical transformation in times of pressure, fear and upheaval. Social culture, values and beliefs systems have been widely challenged, reimagined and redirected.  This article is a reflection on 2020 from a diversity perspective featuring a list of topics which have reached a social decline in the contemporary cultural climate.

Despite the pandemonium of the pandemic, 2020 became the year of the people’s amplified voices. A record number of protests took place last year globally in the quest for racial justice, climate change, gender justice and governmental accountability to name a few. Amid this global wave of  social  and cultural awakening, the voices, demands and action of the people grew at an exceptional rate.

  1. A Lack of Diverse Representation Across Industries

An old time favourite which resurfaced was the lack of diversity across industries. People want to see themselves represented.   The shift in global consciousness led by cultural events meant that more and more brands are being held to account with increased  scrutiny on the subject of truthly reflecting the societies we live in.

  1. Performative Statements and Zero Action 

The public responded swiftly to the floods of corporate statements on the global anti-racism protest after the death of George Floyd. Investigations into companies diversity action were requested ; who’s on the teams, who do they work with, who is represented on their feed?  Empty brand statements with zero action is not cutting it anymore,  people want to make sure their personal values align with those of their favourite brands. 2020 has shown that the social bar has been set to a higher standard, that means a call for more brand transparency and accountability. 

  1. Ethnic Lumping

Ethnic grouping terminologies such as POC (People of Colour) and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), have proven that they are inaccurate labels which aim to represent the vast and differing experiences of Non-White demographics. Lumping all brown people into one category is actually counterproductive in the goal to achieve authentic diversity. Why? The experiences, cultures and values range from group to group and within groups also. It is so important to identify diversity within diversity itself to ensure we are serving the people we want to represent and reach.

  1. Tone Death Marketing Campaigns

We have all seen the embarrassing and somewhat humbling corporate apologies for campaigns which have been way off the mark when it comes to diversity. Better processes need to be in place when it comes to signing off anything which seeks to achieve diversity in 20201.  2020 has exhibited  society’s growth  in cultural education, and as a result people are becoming more vigilant to the creative delivery of brands.

  1. Outdated D&I Strategies 

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs have been popular since the early 90s. The programs have been centered around diversity staffing and diversity awareness training. The programs  have not really further explored strategic processes to improve diversity reach, engagement and visibility. It’s high time to modernise the strategy. Check out our mission at DECA which works with brands to implement new strategies and targets to reach and engage with diverse audiences authentically. It’s time to move on from awareness and into action!