“Cheap Thrills” singer tackled all the voices that were criticizing her for casting Maddie Ziegler in her upcoming movie.Apparently, SJW warriors on social media were unhappy over the actress being hired to play the role of an autistic character.It’s no surprise that they want an autistic person to play the character of an autistic person.Right after the trailer for the movie Music was unveiled, many offended people went behind the keyboard to slam Sia for recruiting Maddie Ziegler in the role of an autistic character knowing the fact that Ziegler isn’t autistic in real life.A Twitter account holder called out Sia with a comment that said that it is highly shameful that the singing sensation excluded the handicapped and physically challenged actors from their own narrative, which insinuated the fact that Sia refrained from hiring someone with autism so that she could give Ziegler a chance.Sia was quick to respond to the account holder with facts and said that she had cast at least 13 people with a neurological disorder and three people from the LGBTQ community not in some insignificant derogatory roles but in a highly respectful role of nurses, doctors, and singers.She added in her tweet that she feels disappointed over the fact that people haven’t seen her movie, and they are already judging her with some ill-conceived prejudices.Singer of the highly famous song “Chandelier” ended her tweet on a positive note that her heart has always guided her towards helping people.She got herself involved in an acrimonious argument when people kept on bashing her for her lack of knowledge and care for handicapped people.She responded to them with a snarky remark that she has spent almost three years reading about the subject, and she is appalled by the fact that people still have the nerve to call her ignorant.A user shared his personal anecdote in which he said that Sia and his team made no effort to include autistic people in the mix of things despite the fact that several actors from the underrepresented community wrote, asked, and pleaded for a chance.Sia was not having any of that, and she said something that might have been uncalled for.“Maybe you are just a bad actor,” she had replied back.Perhaps she was just furious with all the negativity and hate.Sometimes people on Twitter are just way too judgmental.Sia’s fans are scattered around the globe, and of course, they were part of the debate.They gave her all the love and support and asked her to ignore all the negative whispers.Sia replied to a user who claimed to be a physically disabled person.
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The Business Research Company’s latest report Human Rights Organizations Global Market Report 2020 covers human rights organizations market drivers, human rights organizations market trends, human rights organizations market segments, human rights organizations market growth rate, human rights organizations market major players, and human rights organizations market size.The report provides in-depth analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the human rights organizations industry, along with revised market numbers due to the effects of the coronavirus.View Complete Report: https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/human-rights-organizations-global-market-report-2020-30-covid-19-growth-and-changeHuman Rights Organizations Global Market Report 2020 is the most comprehensive report available on this market and will help gain a truly global perspective as it covers 60 geographies.The chapter on the impact of COVID-19 gives valuable insights on supply chain disruptions, logistical challenges, and other economic implications of the virus on the market.The chapter also covers markets which have been positively affected by the pandemic.Request for the sample now: https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/sample.aspx?id=3486=smpThe global human rights organizations market is expected to decline from $16.01 billion in 2019 to $15.75 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.6%.The decline is mainly due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has put the economy in recession and forcing governments to reallocate grants to emergency funds pushing organizations to consider layoffs or to shut down completely.The market is then expected to recover and reach $17.74 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 4.03%.The report covers the human rights organizations market’s segments- 1) By Type Of Organizations: Nongovernmental Organizations, Intergovernmental Organizations, Governmental Organizations, International Organizations2) By Application: All Humans, Children, Women, Disabled, LGBTQ, OthersTake a look at our exciting year-end deals on ALL reports!
The BBC has been forced to clarify that its staff can attend Pride events – but only if they “do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial”.It comes after the broadcaster launched new so-called impartiality guidelines for its workforce, saying they should not attend “public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues” even in a personal capacity. BBC employees told The Guardian they had been instructed that Pride marches would be included in this ban.But in a note from director-general Tim Davie sent to senior staff at the corporation on Friday morning, colleagues were told that there is no ban on attending Pride parades if it does not bring the BBC into disrepute. Staff who work in news and current affairs, factual journalism and senior leaders are free to attend events that are “clearly celebratory or commemorative” and “do not compromise perceptions of their impartiality”, Davie explained.The internal note read: “If news and current affairs staff are participating in such events they must be mindful of ensuring that they do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial.“There is no ban on these staff attending Pride events. Attending Pride parades is possible within the guidelines, but due care needs to be given to the guidance and staff need to ensure that they are not seen to be taking a stand on politicised or contested issues.”The latest information has been widely condemned as both confusing and disappointing.One BBC staff member told HuffPost UK: “I don’t have a problem with BBC staff being contractually obliged to be publicly party politically impartial, as civil servants are. What makes me uncomfortable about this stance on ‘impartiality’ that the updated guidelines take, however, is that it assumes a default, uncontroversial position which is the ideal – and which, by implication, is that of a cisgender heterosexual white person.“By instructing staff to ‘not express a view on any policy which is a matter of current political debate or on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other ‘controversial subject’ and then using the specific examples of ‘trans issues’ both online and at Pride marches, and of Black Lives Matter protests, as has been raised in meetings with managers, it is making what are markers of identity for so many BBC colleagues into political issues as well.“It feels like censorship to try and control how someone publicly expresses and discusses their markers of identity, especially when these characteristics have historically been – and still are – factors of oppression for so many people.”Staff were banned from attending Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, HuffPost UK revealed in August.Hugh Smithson-Wright, a restaurant PR consultant and LGBTQ+ rights activist, described the corporation’s Pride position as “awful”. “This is a heavily qualified clarification. What counts as a ‘politicised or contested issue’? The death penalty for homosexuality in Brunei? Surging state-sanctioned homophobia in Poland? Homicide rates for trans people of colour? All of these and many more are what Pride is about,” he told HuffPost UK.“Tim Davie seems to be saying: ‘You can attend a ‘Pride’ march if it’s one of those happy-clappy sanitised desexualised ones where being queer is only mentioned obliquely and doesn’t actually, y’know, protest anything.’ Awful.“It would be better if, rather than positioning events like Pride and BLM as being ‘politicised’, the BBC were to champion and actively encourage the attendance of its staff at them. It feels dangerously retrograde for the BBC, by implication, to position supporting equality as something that can be ‘contested’ – that just validates bigotry.”Peter Woodhouse, head of business sector at law firm Stone King, said there could also be potential legal claims for employers who try to restrict employees’ actions outside work. “This is a classic example of where society recognises competing rights. Here society would recognise a right to freedom of expression and association, but this could be pitched against the perceived benefit of the political impartiality of the BBC,” he told HuffPost UK.“The law and employers can struggle with this and much will depend on how firm the BBC will be in its enforcement. Ultimately, they might decide to dismiss someone and at the very least they will have to ensure that their policies are clear, up-to-date and applied consistently.“Their policies should specifically cover conduct outside work. Failures [to do this] in such areas could make a dismissal unfair.”Woodhouse added: “Further, I would anticipate claims for discrimination, for example, if the policy disproportionately impacts on someone from a particular race or ethnic origin. Such a measure must be justified and the reasoning behind it must be shown to be non-discriminatory. Here, the BBC’s reasoning is to prevent political bias and to ensure impartiality – however, consistency and proportionality in the application of the measure will be key to reduce the risk of potential discrimination claims.”As a result of the recent social media guidance from the BBC, the National Union of Journalists is calling for an urgent meeting with the director-neral.Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Following the publication of the guidelines yesterday, the NUJ sought an urgent meeting with the BBC to address our members’ concerns about the changes which could constrain individuals’ ability to meaningfully participate and engage in issues that matter to them – whether that’s in their trade union, their communities or in events such as Pride.“The director general’s confirmation this morning that attendance at Pride would not be a breach is obviously welcome – that the clarification proved necessary shows that further clarity is needed.“It’s disappointing that there was no consultation with staff unions on these changes ahead of them being announced, and we’ll be raising all the concerns NUJ members and reps have shared with us when we meet the BBC.”Related... 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Senate Republicans voted Monday night to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, tilting the balance of the court to a 6-3 conservative majority for years to come and handing US President Donald Trump a victory barely a week before the election.Every Republican but one, senator Susan Collins of Maine, voted to confirm Barrett. Every Democrat voted no. The final tally was 52 to 48.The White House planned to hold a large outdoor event later Monday night to celebrate Barrett’s confirmation, despite a previous White House event for Barrett triggering a coronavirus outbreak among attendees. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly will administer the constitutional oath to Barrett at the event.Barrett’s confirmation ends a weekslong dash by Republicans to put her on the court before the November 3 election, in the event Trump loses reelection and leaves a potential President Joe Biden better positioned to fill the seat in 2021. Barrett, 48, will fill the seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.Democrats protested the rushed process, calling it a “sham” and boycotting Barrett’s vote out of the Judiciary Committee. They criticised Republicans for the hypocrisy of filling a Supreme Court seat in a presidential election year after they denied President Barack Obama the ability to do so. They warned that Barrett is a threat to the Affordable Care Act and highlighted her record of hostility to the health care law, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. But they never had the votes to stop her confirmation.Ahead of the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats’ complaints about the process were unfounded.“You can’t win ’em all,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Elections have consequences.”“What this administration and this Republican Senate has done is exercise a power that was given to us by the American people in a manner that is entirely within the rules of the Senate and the Constitution of the United States,” he said.But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Monday’s vote “one of the darkest days” in the history of the 231 years of the Senate, and said Republicans will regret their power grab in the long haul.“I want to be very clear with my Republican colleagues: You may win this vote, and Amy Coney Barrett may become the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, but you will never, never get your credibility back,” Schumer said. “The next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority.”Barrett, a conservative US appeals court judge, dodged even the most basic questions in her confirmation hearing. She refused to say if climate change is real (it is), and wouldn’t say if it is illegal to vote twice in a presidential election (it is).Barrett is Trump’s third Supreme Court justice, after Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. All three are members of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organisation through which Trump has outsourced his selection of Supreme Court justices and nearly all of his 53 appeals court judges. The Federalist Society is part of a vast and secretive $250 million network of groups promoting conservative judges and causes. During Barrett’s confirmation hearing this month, senator Sheldon Whitehouse connected the dots between the conservative dark money groups and Barrett’s nomination, saying her confirmation is the grand prize for big donors hoping for favourable court rulings on the issues they care about: among them, weakening or doing away with the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights and marriage equality.“Two hundred and fifty million dollars is a lot of money to spend if you’re not getting anything for it,” he said as Barrett sat feet away. “So that raises the question, ‘What are they getting for it?’”Related... A Guide To US Election Night. Listen To Running Mate, Our American Politics Podcast For Brits What Will The US Election Mean For The UK? Listen To Running Mate, Our American Politics Podcast For Brits The Sexism At The Heart Of American Politics. Listen To Running Mate, Our US Election Podcast For Brits
NASDAQ-listed BlueCity is the first LGBTQ+-focused social network to go public. Business Insider interviews Blued CEO Ma Baoli.
People will die if the Home Office goes ahead with planned immigration rules allowing non-UK nationals to be deported for sleeping rough, outreach workers have warned. The government is set to introduce new powers at the end of the Brexit transition period that would mean rough sleepers’ UK status could be cancelled or refused if they turn down offers of support or engage in “persistent anti-social behaviour”. According to the Home Office – which insisted the rule would be used “sparingly” – this behaviour could include “aggressive begging” and street drinking. The proposed regulation has sparked a huge wave of anger from homelessness campaigners and charities, who say it will “dehumanise and criminalise” people for not having a home. Jon Glackin, who runs outreach project Streets Kitchen, called it a “vile, evil proposal”. “This will strike fear among all rough sleepers – people will be afraid to access services,” he told HuffPost UK. “People will die because of this.” This could happen in the UK, or after they’re sent back to their home country, he said.  “We know people who have been sent back to Poland – cold countries – and have died on the streets.” The Outside Project has also raised concerns about what the new policy could mean for LGBTQ+ people sleeping rough, who face being sent back to countries which are becoming “increasingly hostile” to people from their community. “The Home Office is becoming increasingly hostile to migrants, but for some people a return to their country is extremely unsafe,” said outreach worker Harry Gay.“This is a disgraceful, harsh and deeply unethical policy announcement,” added Matt Turtle, from the Museum of Homelessness. “Not only that, but four years ago a similar move by the government was ruled unlawful by the High Court so it is very upsetting that they are trying to resurrect this flawed idea.”He continued: “The targeting of marginalised and destitute people who already face huge problems because of the hostile environment needs to end, and we will work tirelessly to make that happen.” Meanwhile, Glackin said that the government’s insistence that only people who refuse support will be affected was also misleading. “With all homelessness services, generally you are given one single offer.” Often, that offer is not suitable – or could put the person sleeping rough at risk, he said.  This could be a woman offered housing in Manchester because she has connections in the area, despite the fact she has fled to London to escape her abusive partner. Or it could be someone with a drug issue offered a bed in a shelter that’s “full of drugs”.“If you refuse that offer, that’s you taken out of the system,” Glackin said. The new rule – which is set to come into force on January 1 – is made even more cruel by coming at a time when the UK is facing “a tsunami of homelessness”, Glackin said. “It’s going to be a dire winter.“We’re seeing more and more people losing their jobs, more and more people not being able to pay their rent, more and more homeless people.” It’s a thought that has been echoed by shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds. “These plans would be appalling at any moment, but what makes it even worse is putting this forward as we face the deepest recession in generations and in the middle of a global pandemic,” the Labour frontbencher said in a statement. “It’s completely unacceptable and tells you all you need to know about this morally bankrupt Tory government.”Homelessness charity Crisis said the government must end rough sleeping in the UK by offering housing and support, “rather than threatening deportation”. The Home Office’s new policy will push people facing homelessness “further into the fringe of society, rather than encouraging them to seek support”, chief executive Jon Sparkes said. “We know through our services that people who have no recourse to public funds because of their immigration status have little or no access to support in the first place, and are forced into rough sleeping if they are unable to work,” he explained.“This is a situation that will only worsen as the economic impact of the pandemic begins to bite.” A spokesperson for the government said ministers were “committed to transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society and to ending rough sleeping for good”.“This year alone the government is spending over £700 million in total to tackle homelessness,” they said.  “The new rules provide a discretionary basis to cancel or refuse a person’s leave where they are found to be rough sleeping and refuse offers of support or are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour. “The new provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals refuse to engage with the range of support available.” Related... 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To mark the launch of our new manifesto – setting out The Drum’s editorial mission to help readers solve their problems – we’re christening today Solutions Day on thedrum.com. And to set the tone, over the course of 24 hours our team of worldwide journalists will be spotlighting 24 recent examples of times when our industry demonstrated its remarkable talent for solving problems. Problem: In July, more than 1,100 advertisers boycotted Facebook in protest over its hate speech and misinformation policies. Global brands such as Starbucks, Diageo, Verizon, The North Face and Ben & Jerry’s pulled their marketing dollars in order to put pressure on the social network to tackle hate speech, damaging content and misinformation. Solution: Ethical whitelisting can be used to help brands support platforms that have more progressive employment practices and sustainability practices. This approach would allow brands to support positive change with all of their advertising dollars, not just individual campaigns. Read the original article here.  By employing an ethical whitelist, a brand could choose to direct advertising dollars towards or away from platforms based on their stance on things like equality, diversity and sustainability, even things like unionisation or freedom of expression. While having an ethical whitelist is good, it may throw up some issues. There are concerns that smaller platforms may have a harder time working within an ethical whitelist framework due to technical implementation costs. This means brands have a responsibility to verify ethical whitelists' validity, and not use them as an excuse to over-centralise their media investments,” he explains. In the US, media agency Mindshare has used this approach to address algorithmic biases as traditional brand safety practices can sometimes penalise more marginal publishers. Mindshare has worked with LGBTQ publishers in the US to create a PMP that allows more progressive brands to advertise with those publishers in the knowledge that their platforms and experiences are brand safe. Jerry Daykin, the senior media director at GSK said: “The industry should not use the words ‘white’ and ‘black’ list, especially not in an ethical context, but an ethical exclusion list is a key consideration for brands. "The notion of ‘brand safety’ has become a key c-suite discussion due to a range of high profile incidents like the Facebook boycott, many of the reactions to the situation have created new challenges. "Without proper settings in place brands will unknowingly be funding hate speech, misinformation and generally appearing alongside contexts which undermine their brand positioning. It isn’t necessarily about having a big purpose or ethical CSR approach, it’s about doing the basic due diligence that all marketers should do, and not allowing our budgets to fund the worst parts of the internet.” Read more Problem Solved articles in our Solutions Day hub.
Explore Secure, a travel safety training service managed by former UK Elite Counter-Terrorism personnel have Business Travel Safety formed a travel safety training module to better meet the needs of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community.Both of Explore Secures travel safety training products will contain the GLBT safety module.The company has a Business Travel Safety Briefing for Corporate, and a Student travel safety briefing aimed primarily at scholastic organizations, gap year travelers and study abroad students.More Details
Ministers have been urged to toughen rules around racist hair discrimination which causes “ridiculous” stress and anxiety and can harm Black people’s education and work outcomes.Equalities minister Liz Truss was urged to toughen guidance for schools and workplaces to stop “appalling” cases of Black people being sent home from school because of their afros, or turned down for jobs because they have braids or cornrows.The Liberal Democrats also urged Truss to launch a review of whether the law needs to change to stop “unacceptable” discrimination in school and work hair policies, which are “all-too-prevalent”.It came as HuffPost UK heard stories of Black people who suffered hair discrimination at school and work that caused so much anxiety that it affected exam results and how they go about their jobs.MORE Young Black Brits On Growing Up With Hair Discrimination: ‘It Stays With You’ ‘How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?’Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home from school because of her afro hair and recently received an £8,500 out-of-court settlement after her family took legal action against the Urswick school in Hackney, east London.Her natural hair was judged to breach school policy which stated that “afro style hair must be of reasonable size and length”.Ruby’s mother, Kate Williams, said that at the same time other pupils were allowed to grow their hair as long as they want it, dye it blue and red, or add extensions. Boys were allowed shaved heads, tramlines and other hairstyles which may not be allowed at other stricter schools.“Their only issue was natural afro hair, you couldn’t make it up,” she said.“I know myself, I’m a teacher, I knew straight away you cannot have a rule that just applies to afro hair.“Because who has afro hair? Black and mixed race people have afro hair.“How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?”Williams took the case to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, eventually winning the settlement after battling the school for years.But she told HuffPost UK that the saga caused so much stress and anxiety that Ruby, who was a “model student”, got worse GCSE grades than predicted.Ruby became so stressed that she once “lost it” when a photo of her with her afro was taken off a classroom wall by a teacher despite the fact that she was following school rules and had her hair tied back at the time, and she eventually became an intermittent “school refuser”.Ruby’s mother also had a “complete breakdown” as her daughter intermittently refused to go to school because she struggled so much with going from the “teacher’s pet” to getting in trouble “and being highlighted”.Ruby’s mother said: “She was a model student and she went from that to staring in the mirror every morning, looking at her hair, not knowing what to do.“She was ridiculously stressed out and that impacted on the whole family. Every morning was a nightmare.”Williams added: “It was the worst time of my life, I had a complete breakdown in the middle of it.“It was horrendous, it’s hard to explain how much stress it brought into her life and our lives as parents and our extended family and support network, it was awful.” When she finished her GCSEs, in which she achieved good grades – but below her predictions – Ruby chose to leave Hackney for a “bog standard” sixth form in nearby Haringey.“She was clever enough to go to top sixth forms but she lost all her confidence and she didn’t want the stress of going somewhere highly academic, in case she turned wobbly again,” Williams said.Williams, whose 18 year-old daughter is now at Manchester University, backed the Lib Dems’ call for stronger guidance but said she wanted it to be put into law so schools can be held accountable.Following Ruby’s case, Hackney council drew up guidance to make school hairstyles “more flexible and inclusive”, but Williams insists that without a legal change “they have no clout”.“They can’t force any of the schools in Hackney to follow this guidance,” she said.“This needs to be in statutory education law. It needs to be part of the statutory duties of schools, because if it was the Department for Education could have sorted this out for us four years ago, in 2016 when they first got involved.“They couldn’t do anything and they were very apologetic.“All they could do was force the school to give us a complaints panel.“But what they should have been able to do is to write to the school and say: you’re breaking equalities and education law, stop it.“It should be the DfE’s job to keep children safe in schools and the government should give them that power.” ‘As if I’m an animal in a zoo’Julia Ogiehor revealed the different kinds of hair discrimination that she has faced in her office job and said the new guidance would help Black people get jobs and then “thrive and progress”.She has faced a situation where a boss has “pulled my braids and asked if my hair is real”, and said colleagues crowd around her desk and stare at her if she changes her hair “as if I’m an animal in a zoo”.Colleagues also “don’t seem to understand” when they ask to touch her hair and she refuses, and she has had colleagues ask “how often I wash my hair”.“I’ve had to in the past, whenever I have had braiding, and I’m going into work for the first time, I’ve had so much anxiety about the reaction that I’ve had to send a picture to my team in advance or tell my manager separately that I don’t want attention drawn to it,” she said.“It gets to the stage where I get so much anxiety that I don’t want to change my hair too much because I can’t deal with it.”Ogiehor reveals she is now in a situation where she will refuse to take a job “if it means I have to change my hair”, and that discrimination is so common that Black women have a technique known as “a dive” – to move out of the way as soon as someone reaches for their hair.“It’s definitely a racial thing,” she said.“If you are still not used to a Black woman having afro hair one day, braids another and straight hair another day, then you haven’t been paying attention.”Ogiehor, who is a Lib Dem councillor in Muswell Hill, north London, went on: “Having this guidance would remove that extra layer of stress - you are going to an interview, you are stressing about doing well, it would be nice to remove to that added pressure of: will they judge me according to my hair?“It would be nice to go into work and know that you don’t have to do these mental gymnastics of how to approach everyone zooming in on you and making you the centre of the office, like at a zoo, with everyone crowding around your desk looking over you.“In an interview, it would help you be more confident and that would make you more likely to get a job.“The more confident and comfortable you are in your work environment, the more likely you are to thrive and progress.“It’s just one less thing to worry about - it doesn’t go far enough in dealing with many of the microaggressions people with colour face in the workplace, but it’s one small step in helping deal with that stress.” ‘This is racial discrimination, pure and simple’Lib Dem equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has written to Truss demanding action to stop “appalling cases of Black children being sent home from school because of their afros, Black boys being told to cut off their dreadlocks, Black women being turned down for jobs because they wear their hair in braids or cornrows, and Black employees being told to chemically straighten their natural hair”.She told HuffPost UK: “No one should have to endure discrimination of any kind. Yet hair discrimination remains a major issue in the UK today, as Black people face pressure - both official and unofficial - when it comes to hair styles.“This is racial discrimination, pure and simple. It is unacceptable and it must stop.“The Liberal Democrats want to see new guidance for schools and employers to prevent hair discrimination in policies and practices to help eliminate this prejudice from our society.”The party is also calling for an awareness campaign to support schools and workplaces ensure their policies are not discriminatory, and to help people who have experienced hair discrimination uphold their rights.Truss was also urged to start a review to determine if additional changes, including potential legal changes, are needed to tackle hair discrimination. Related... 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Strictly Come Dancing star Nicola Adams has spoken candidly about the abuse she endured from her father as a child.In an interview with the Daily Mail, Nicola reflected on the emotional and physical abuse both she and her mother suffered, admitting at one point she even wanted to kill him to get him to stop.“Before my mum left my dad, my childhood was very up and down. I didn’t like the way my dad used to treat us,” the gold medallist said.“He was very controlling with my mum and me. My mum wasn’t allowed to go anywhere by herself. She wasn’t allowed any friends. She wasn’t really allowed a life at all.” Nicola continued: “He’d get violent with both of us. Because I have ADHD, when I was younger I was very hyperactive, so it was very, very hard for me to keep still, especially when he was watching TV.“So, I was always getting into trouble with my dad. Sometimes, I felt I was getting hit for no reason. It got to the point when I was around nine that I told my mum that I thought we needed to leave.”She added: “I was watching a TV show about a family that was going through the same sort of situation we were. They ended up killing the father and burying him in the garden.“I remember saying to my mum, ‘It’s going to be OK, I’ve seen a way we can get rid of Dad on TV, I just don’t know where we’re going to put the body because our garden is concrete’. That was a pretty big wake-up call for my mum.”Nicola went on to say that getting into boxing was what gave her confidence, stating: “It gave me a lot more confidence knowing I could defend myself and look after my mum and brother.“When my mum and dad were together, there were plenty of times when I wasn’t able to help my mum because I was only a kid, so not very big.“As much as I shouted and tried, I was pushed to the side, so there was nothing really I could do. I wanted to be able to give my family a better life and I saw boxing as the way out. I saw how hard my mum worked and wanted to make her happy.” Nicola is one of 12 celebrities currently gearing up for the new series of Strictly, and will make history as part of the show’s first ever same-sex pairing. Speaking ahead of her dance floor debut, Nicola was asked why she had requested a female partner, explaining: “Just for diversity I guess. And I wanted to do something different and I didn’t see what the big deal would be with pairing with another female.“You go to nightclubs and girls dance with girls all the time, professional dancers dance with girls all the time, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.”The new series of Strictly launches on Saturday 17 September, with the first live show airing the following weekend.If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge: 0808 2000 247In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321READ MORE: BBC Stands Its Ground Following Complaints About Strictly's First Celebrity Same-Sex Pairing ‘I Don’t See What The Big Deal Is': Nicola Adams On Being Part Of Strictly Same-Sex Pairing Opinion: Strictly Come Dancing Is Finally Doing Right By Britain's LGBTQ+ Youth
About five years ago, when I was living in Manchester for uni, I was about to be outed as transgender to my family back home in Birmingham. For my safety, I wanted to stay away.After being essentially homeless for a short while, I ended up living in a halfway house. Going into this place ready for a relatively long stay and thinking this would my home for however long I needed, I thought well, I don’t want to lie about who I really am. But when I would introduce myself to people and tell them my name and my gender identity, I could immediately tell things were going to be difficult. When things turned violent with other residents, I was told I should ‘tone down’ the whole gender thing.They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. But this was just the first time I faced housing discrimination because of of my gender identity.When I have tried to find places to live since then, if my race wasn’t already a hindrance if not a dealbreaker, I feel like I can’t tell landlords or potential housemates about my gender identity or my sexuality because it might be ‘too much’.Landlords often assumed our relationship wasn’t as strong or based in love as the straight couples looking at the same places.It’s horrible to say now, but I always felt like I needed to hide parts of myself. I would justify it by thinking that maybe it’s fair enough if people can’t handle all these intersections, maybe it my fault for having all these different parts of my identity. I would tell myself that maybe I did need to tone it down after all.Years later, when I was trying to move in with a female partner, landlords often assumed our relationship wasn’t as strong or based in love as the straight couples looking at the same places. I’m sure every landlord has concerns about what would happen if a couple breaks up, but for us it was always such an issue it became embarrassing. My name, Robyn, is something of blank slate, where people fill in their own idea of my gender and race. Sometimes when I meet a landlord I can almost see the cogs turning in the head as they think ‘this isn’t what I signed up for’.My partner, who was white, made it very clear that this kind of thing never happened before they met me – not to blame me but to let me know I wasn’t imagining what was happening. I would regularly be asked rude things about my gender identity, about my past, about my relationship, about whether my partner and I wanted to get married... It got to the point where flat viewings became more like therapy sessions.And it’s not just me. I hear nightmare stories constantly about the way friends and the LGBTQ+ community are treated – whether they’re moving in as couples and not seen as legitimate like we were, or whether they’re treated as if they’re “just friends”. Many friends feel like they have no option but to live with other queer people when perhaps they want to live in a different area or different city entirely. They feel like anything other than living with other queer people would be dangerous. And lot of us will take a place on offer because it’s their only choice, rather than stay with abusive or homophobic family members.Having limited options for housing has a knock-on effect for every aspect of my life.I’ve thought the same too – I live alone now and often think I should move into somewhere with other people like me just to feel safe. I’m disconnected, none of my friends live near me, nobody I know lives around me, and to see anyone I do usually have to travel quite a bit. Having limited options for housing has a knock-on effect for every aspect of my life. Considerations have to be made for what employment I could potentially reach safely and regularly, which supermarkets I’m able to get to for groceries, which doctors surgery catchment I fall under and what public transport links are nearby. These are all things most would consider when moving home but in my situation these feel less like considerations and more like taking what I can get and having to make it work somehow.I’m more comfortable with my identity now, and I feel like I’m at the point where if you can’t handle me being myself. I’m alright moving on from whatever opportunity it is. But there’s a definite fear of going through the whole process of finding a house again. Last time, I had my partner but now, living alone, I know that going through estate agents, looking for housing is a process that is daunting, even terrifying right now. I know I would still need to think twice about what I wear when I meet landlords for the first time, as if I’m going to a job interview and need to dress more masc than I normally would, so they won’t ‘suspect’ anything about my identity.I think a lot of people might have this idea that these concerns are quite trivial. But when you’re LGBTQ+ or a person of colour, or both, these are the sort of things you have to think about – not just in housing but in all our everyday interactions. Discrimination has such far-reaching implications that a single comment or incident is never just that. Those implications have rarely felt more exemplified than in the fight for fair, safe and stable housing as a trans person of colour in Britain.Robyn is a writer, activist and ambassador for akt, the LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity. Follow them on Twitter at @spacekidrobynMore from HuffPost UK Personal I'm Trans, Autistic, And More Common Than You'd Think Non-Binary People Like Me Won’t Fit In Until We Change Our Exclusionary Language What Being A Fat Sex Worker Taught Me About Men And Desire
Posted by NicoleDeLeonPeople around the world are having important discussions about systemic racism, overt and covert bias, and how we can all do better. Understanding the problem is the first step. To get a sense of conditions within the SEO community, we asked people to take our Diversity and Inclusion in SEO survey as part of our ongoing project to study the state of SEO. Due to the subject matter and the way we reached out, our respondents were not a snapshot of the industry as a whole. We were very pleased to have 326 SEOs complete the survey, including a significant number of female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ participants. These are important voices that need to be heard, but as we analyzed the data, we were careful not to generalize the industry as a whole without accounting for potential sampling bias. We addressed this by looking at groups separately — straight white cisgender men, BIPOC women, LGBTQ+ men, and so forth. We recognize that intersectionality is common. Many of the SEOs who shared their stories with us don’t fit neatly into a single group. We addressed that by counting people in each category that applied to them, so a gay Black man’s answers would be factored into both the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC analyses. Who participated? Of the 326 SEOs who participated, 231 respondents (70.9%) described themselves as white. Among the rest, 32 SEOs described themselves as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish; 28 Black or African American; 18 Asian or Asian American; 11 Middle Eastern or North African; eight Indian or South Asian; four Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and three American Indian or Alaska Native. (Some people were counted in more than one category.) Our respondents included 203 SEOs who identify as women (including one transgender woman), 109 who identify as men (including two transgender men), and 11 who consider themselves nonbinary, genderqueer, two-spirit, or gender nonconformist. Three people preferred not to share their gender. With regard to sexual orientation, 72.8% described themselves as heterosexual, 25.2% as LGBTQ+, and 2% preferred not to say. About two-thirds (218 SEOs) of the participants were from the U.S., and about one in 10 (35 SEOs) were from the United Kingdom. The rest came from 26 other countries across the globe. The average age was 34.5 with 6.9 years of experience in SEO. (Please see the methodology section at the end for more details.) How is the SEO community doing with diversity and inclusion? We started our study by asking SEOs how our industry compares with the rest of the business world when it comes to discrimination and bias. More than half of our participants (57.7%) had a different career or significant job experience in another field before working in SEO, so we figured they’d be in a position to know. Overall, most people (58.7%) think SEO is about the same as other professions. But among those who disagree, more think it’s worse (26%) than better (15.2%). Surprisingly, there was also no statistically significant difference between BIPOC and white respondents when we asked about prevalence of bias in the industry. However, when we asked how big a problem it is, things got interesting. Both BIPOC and white SEOs felt much more positively about their own companies than the industry as a whole. Slightly more than 40% of both BIPOC and white SEOs said discrimination is “not a serious problem at all” within their own companies. However, almost three-quarters of BIPOC SEOs (74.0%) and more than two-thirds of white SEOs (67.5%) said bias is a “moderately serious” or “extremely serious” problem in the SEO industry. Emotions ran high in the comments for this section. Jamar Ramos, 38, the black male chief operations officer of Crunchy Links in Belmont, California wrote, “White men on SEO Twitter are the f***ing worst. They are defensive, uncouth, and destructive for the industry. So scared of losing power they will drive EVERY BIPOC from SEO if they could.” Another Black SEO, a 29-year-old woman at a Chicago agency, commented, “As a Black woman (and queer at that), I have definitely not seen a woman like me. I always (somewhat) joked around that I'll be the Queen of SEO, but underneath those words was because I saw not only women underrepresented in the industry, but other minority subsects of being a woman underrepresented as well, such as being a Black woman and/or a queer Black woman. Where are we?!!" Other perspectives were represented, as well. Said another 28-year-old Black female SEO, “I'm thrilled to work in an industry where there is the freedom to find multiple agencies that are welcoming to all, and the additional freedom to strike out on my own if I ever felt I should.” Many comments in later sections backed up these sentiments, with endorsements of the SEOs’ own companies and their diversity and inclusion policies. How bad is it? Frequency of racial or ethnic bias in SEO Our respondents were more diverse than the SEO industry as a whole, so we expect that their experiences would be a bit different, as well. Also, our survey was based on self-reporting, which can be inconsistent. That said, overall, 48.7% of our respondents told us they never experience racial or ethnic bias. Among the others, 6.7% experience racial or ethnic bias at least once a week, 10.9% at least once a month, 9.2% every couple of months, and 24.4% said it was rare but did happen on occasion. Knowing that 7 out of 10 of our respondents were white, we broke the data down by the SEOs’ self-reported ethnic backgrounds to get a clearer idea about the extent of racial or ethnic bias. Here’s what we found. Asian and Asian American SEOs were the most likely to say they experience ethnic bias at least once a week, followed by Hispanic or Latino SEOs. Most Black or African American SEOs said discrimination was a monthly or bi-monthly experience for them. Not surprisingly, white SEOs were the least likely to experience racial or ethnic bias, although about a third said they do get discriminated against based on their heritage or cultural identity. We’d like to know more about the racial and ethnic discrimination white SEOs are facing. Unfortunately, we focused on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ issues in this survey and did not include questions about religion, so we don’t know what role that might play. We also did not address ageism or disability issues. With each study we publish, we realize how much more we have to learn. We will be sure to explore those issues in future studies. Gender and LGBTQ+ bias in SEO There are a lot of forms of LGBTQ+ and gender bias. We let our survey participants interpret the phrase for themselves when asking how often they experience it. Overall, 94.1% of LGBTQ+ SEOs experience bias at least some of the time, and more than a third do so at least once a month. However, 72.5% of the heterosexual SEOs also said they feel gender discrimination at least some of the time. The impact of bias About 4 in 10 SEOs said they experienced bias in the past year. We asked them what impact it has had on their productivity, career trajectory, and happiness. Here’s what they said: 69.1% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my productivity and sense of engagement.” (38.3% strongly agreed; 30.8% slightly agreed)72.1% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my career advancement and earnings.” (39.3% strongly agreed; 32.8% slightly agreed)74.6% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my happiness, confidence, or well-being.” (42.6% strongly agreed; 32.0% slightly agreed) The cost of bias How do discrepancies in pay, being passed over for promotion, and other forms of discrimination add up over the course of a career? There are many variables when comparing incomes. For example, pay can vary based on years of experience, size of company, and specific expertise. We did the best we could to compare the incomes of SEOs with similar career profiles. Ultimately, we chose to focus on SEO generalists working in the United States, which gave us the largest pool of responses. We broke them down by gender, ethnicity, and age. Our sample sizes for men ranged from 8 to 22 people in each subcategory. Our sample sizes for women ranged from 13 to 35 for each subcategory. These were small groups, so the results are far from definitive. But the consistency of a disparity merits conversation. Here’s what we found. For male SEO generalists working in the United States: In their 20s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $75,312 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 20s reported earning an average of $63,500 per year (18.6% less).In their 30s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $95,833 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 30s reported earning an average of $89,091 per year (7.6% less).In their 40s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $115,937 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 40s reported earning an average of $90,417 per year (28.2% less). For female SEO generalists working in the United States: In their 20s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $75,384 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 20s reported earning an average of $61,250 per year (23% less).In their 30s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $86,571 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 30s reported earning an average of $86,094 per year (0.6% less).In their 40s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $109,375 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 40s reported earning an average of $101,094 per year (7.6% less). What does on-the-job bias look like? “Where are you really from?”“Are you the new diversity hire?”“But you all look alike.”“You’re Asian, so you’re good at math, right?”“You don’t speak Spanish?”“Do you play basketball?”“I think what she was trying to say was…” It can happen to anyone, but people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women hear things like this often. A microaggression is a subtle behavior directed at a member of a marginalized group. It can be verbal or nonverbal, delivered consciously or not, and can pose a cumulative, damaging effect to the receiver. Columbia University defines racial microaggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities” that contain “hostile, derogatory, or negative” content or subtext. The result, according to a City University of New York study, can be “anxiety and depressive symptoms over and above the effects of non-race-specific stress.” Minority racial and ethnic groups are often targets of microaggressions, but these offenses can be directed at any marginalized group in addition to people of color, including women, people with disabilities, individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, those with mental illness, single parents, and people in lower economic classes. Many SEOs reported experiencing a cascade of microaggressions and similar offenses. A 46-year-old white woman in the U.K. with more than 15 years of experience in the field wrote, “I don’t feel I get taken at all seriously as a female SEO — to the extent that I stopped attending events years ago. It’s a total boys club, to the point of afterparties at strip clubs. As a woman, I’ve had male SEOs expect me to do all the legwork because my time is less important, and then they try and take credit for my work. When I called them out, I was met with bullying. It’s a disgusting situation to still be in after this long in the industry.” The most common microaggression reported during the past year, by more than 4 in 5 SEOs (81.4%) in our poll, was being interrupted or spoken over. Second on the list, however, was an actively offensive action: Nearly 6 in 10 reported having an idea taken by someone else (57.5%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, 44.1% of respondents reported being paid less than similarly qualified employees. A 2016 Pew Research center report supported the data on this enduring travesty with regard to race and gender. Additionally, Census Bureau data from as recently as 2018 showed that women of all races still earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. Among the 48.4% of respondents who report being talked down to or treated as less capable than similarly qualified employees, several made poignant comments to back up their responses. A 26-year-old biracial woman at a small Midwestern agency said, “I am constantly having to prove my case or strategies, even when the target audience I am marketing/optimizing for looks more like me than my colleagues. I am questioned constantly and asked to prove my work, despite being the only person at the company with the knowledge and skills to produce the work.” And one technical SEO said, “I am a white, cisgendered woman, so I have a lot of privilege, but I still have clients who feel the need to verify my recommendations with their own ‘research’ (rudimentary Google search) or by checking my advice against the opinion of white men, many of whom have less experience than I do (‘My nephew learned about SEO in college, and he says …’).” Other common verbal microaggressions reported by survey respondents include being addressed unprofessionally (41.3%), hearing crude or offensive jokes about race and ethnicity (36.1%), or about sexual orientation or gender identity (38.5%). Drilling down: specific microaggression experiences by group We asked SEOs in our survey about the types of microaggressions they’ve been exposed to in the field, and found that some types of microaggressions are more commonly experienced by certain groups. We sorted respondents into six groups based on gender, ethnicity, and LGBTQ+ orientation to see how different issues affected each demographic. In some cases, we found surprising results. At least half of SEOs in each group registered the most common microaggression: being interrupted or spoken over. In all, 91.1% of straight, white, cisgender women and 90.7% of LGBTQ+ women report this happening to them, while a surprising 82.5% of straight, white, cisgender men share the experience. Men in the BIPOC group reported barely half as many incidences of this microaggression in their experience. All three categories of women were most likely to report a pay gap and having their ideas stolen. Reports from straight, white, cisgender women (65.8%), LGBTQ+ women (60.5%), and BIPOC women (59.3%) were remarkably consistent, falling within just slightly more than six percentage points of one another. Meanwhile, men in the BIPOC group were most likely to say they’d been passed over for a promotion (41.7%), followed closely by LGBTQ+ men (40%), and women (37.2%). Bad-faith banter Conversations on the job were fertile ground for verbal microaggressions of different types. What some might consider harmless banter may not be harmless at all. We explored jokes and other verbal interactions that SEOs reported as disrespectful and hurtful. We defined four different categories and found that the most common complaint occurred among straight, white, and cisgender women, 68.4% of whom reported “being talked down to or treated as less capable than similarly qualified employees.” The other two most common complaints involved hearing “offensive jokes about race or ethnicity.” A total of 58.3% of BIPOC men reported hearing such jokes, but interestingly, even more LGBTQ+ men (60%) said they’d been exposed to this kind of inappropriate humor. And 37% of BIPOC women endured the same treatment. A disappointing wealth of examples of this egregious behavior was described in the comments. A 32-year-old white SEO who identifies as gender nonconformist described the time a “past employer, during the interview process, told me he wanted to make it clear to his (service industry) customers he wasn’t going to send any Black people to their homes. This job was rampant with racism and misogyny. I took the job out of desperation and got out as soon as I could.” Another SEO, a 37-year-old Black woman, wrote, “When starting out, I worked at a boutique agency where many people felt comfortable telling Black and Asian jokes to me. I was on time for a business trip meetup at 5 a.m. and one employee joked that he didn’t realize Black people could get up that early. I left as soon as I could get another job that wouldn’t ding my résumé.” Slightly more than 53% of LGBTQ+ women and men responded that they’d heard offensive jokes about gender identity or sexual orientation, the highest in that category. Likewise, LGBTQ+ men (20%) and women (14%) were most likely to have been asked how they got hired. Mixed messages at work Next, we considered four categories in which employees are implicitly singled out because of their membership in a marginalized group. On the one hand, we asked whether group members had been singled out to promote an appearance of diversity — through tokenism or by assigning them to resolve problems of bias. The dubious value that such a request (under the best of circumstances) might signify, though, is negated by their opposite and often accompanying tendencies: targeting certain people or groups with suspicion (by being monitored more closely) or with criticism for their being “too sensitive” to discriminatory language/behavior. LGBTQ+ men were most likely to report instances of tokenism (26.7%) and being labeled “too sensitive” (33.3%) to discrimination. BIPOC women ranked next in those categories, with 22.2% and 29.6%, respectively. Similarly, one-third of BIPOC women (33.3%) reported being supervised more closely than similarly qualified employees. The comments for this section were rife with examples, like the one from a 36-year-old Hispanic/Latino male who described “being asked to ‘woke-check’ social content to see if anything in it might trigger a backlash from the immigrant community.” Unsurprisingly, straight, white, cisgender men and women ranked in the bottom half of those reporting in each of the four categories. But men and women in other categories reported varying results. Nearly three times as many LGBTQ+ men (26.7%) as women (9.3%) said they’d experienced tokenism. Meanwhile, BIPOC women were far more likely than men — 29.6% to 8.3% — to report being labeled “too sensitive” for calling out discriminatory behavior or language.  We specifically asked BIPOC respondents to our survey how often they’d experienced three common forms of microaggression, dividing participants into four groups: Middle Eastern/North AfricanBlack/African AmericanHispanic/LatinoAsian/Asian-American All four groups reported that the most common of the three microaggressions we asked about was being complimented for being articulate or “well-spoken” — indicating an implied and unfounded expectation that they wouldn’t be. Three-quarters (75%) of Middle Eastern/North African respondents and two-thirds (66.7%) of Black/African American survey participants said this had happened to them. In addition, nearly half (47.6%) of Hispanic/Latino group members surveyed said they’d been asked where they’re “actually” from. This was at least 20 percentage points higher than for any of the other three groups. The results appear to reflect a bias against immigrants from Mexico and Central America, and a baseless distrust of their status as citizens or legal residents. The third question explored what researchers have identified as a tendency to view members of other racial or ethnic groups as interchangeable: a bias that can lead to stereotyping and discrimination. In this instance, Black/African American participants were significantly more likely (44.4%) to indicate they’d been mistaken for someone else of their race or ethnicity. How diverse are SEOs’ workplaces? Representation of diverse populations is a huge issue in the microcosm of the SEO industry, as well as the macrocosm of business and society in general. We were interested in how SEOs viewed diversity in the rosters at their workplaces, both in the rank-and-file employee roster and in executive or leadership positions. Survey respondents were nearly evenly split between working for an agency and working in-house at a company (45.9% and 42.2%, respectively), while the remainder split the difference between freelancing (5.3%) and consulting (6.6%) in the SEO field. Overall diversity levels never exceeded 15.3% for organizations of any size, hitting that level for companies with 2-10 employees and again for businesses with 251-1,000 workers. Companies with 11-25 workers turned in a percentage of 12.1%. Percentages were lowest at the largest corporations, with the worst showing (5%) at companies with 5,001-10,000 workers. Companies with more than 10,000 employees (6.5%) and with 1,001-5,000 workers (6.9%) did only slightly better. One-person companies were also relatively less likely to be diverse than other small or midsize businesses, at 7.5%. To further plumb the depths of representation in various SEO employment situations, we asked survey respondents to estimate the level of diversity in their organizations, including at leadership levels. We asked the same question for racial and ethnic diversity and for gender and LGBTQ+ diversity. BIPOC diversity In exploring diversity levels for SEOs with regard to race and ethnicity, we found a fairly even split between those that were rated “somewhat” or “very diverse” (slightly more than 54%) and those that were “not very” or not at all diverse (roughly 46%). At the extremes, roughly 16% were very diverse, and just slightly less were not diverse at all. But, as mentioned, leadership is less diverse: Fully half (50.4%) of companies said they had no diverse individuals in leadership roles, and just over 7% reported more than half of their leadership was diverse. In total, 82.5% of respondents said diverse individuals comprised less than 25% of their company’s leadership or less. At major tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, the bulk of racial and ethnic diversity in 2017 was represented by Asian employees, with Black and Hispanic employees making up just small slivers of the workforce. Gender and LGBTQ+ diversity When it comes to gender or sexual orientation, diversity results are slightly higher than those for race and ethnicity. More than 6 in 10 respondents (61.8%) answered that their companies were either very (20.9%) or somewhat (40.9%) diverse, compared with just 12% who said they were not diverse at all. More specifically, however, the data seems to indicate less diversity. For women, a 2018 report by the National Center for Women & Technology found that their share of the workforce at tech-related companies was 26%, far shy of the 57% for the U.S. workforce in general. Meanwhile, Black, Latina, and Native American women made up just 4% of computing jobs, even though they accounted for 16% of the overall population. The numbers for LGBTQ+ leadership in our survey were even less encouraging: More than 4 in 10 survey participants (41.7%) said their leadership teams did not include any LGBTQ+ members, while a mere 4.4% said that more than a quarter of those team members were LGBTQ+ individuals. An interesting finding: 37.4% of those who responded said they were not sure about the LGBTQ+ membership composition of their leadership teams. This would seem to indicate that many team members choose not to share their sexual orientation, suggesting a bigger-than-expected separation between private and professional life. How important is diversity in SEOs’ workplaces? In answer to the question, “Is diversity and inclusion a priority in your company,” the comments varied widely. Some respondents simply answered “No” — or if it was, they weren’t aware of it. At the other end of the spectrum were comments along the lines of “We don’t need to try; our team is just naturally diverse and inclusive.” (As with other responses, the survey cannot address the accuracy of self-assessment.) Several other comments indicated that the company strived to hire the best person for the job, “regardless of any stereotype.” Other responses were slightly more specific. Several said their companies had only started focusing on diversity in response to the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd’s death in police custody. Others indicated that their companies have an established focus on gender equality, but had only recently begun to address BIPOC or LGBTQ+ issues. A 34-year-old gay white man at a large company wrote, “Diversity and inclusion is a priority for the gender pay gap, but doesn’t include or reference race or LGBT. There’s a women’s mentor program to help promote women to higher roles, and there’s a women’s network to raise visibility.” When asked whether diversity was a priority at their company, nearly half (49.7%) of the SEOs indicated that it was — nearly three times as many as those who said it wasn’t (17.2%). One in five (20.34%) weren’t sure, and 12.8% checked “Other” and were asked to elaborate with specific responses. Roughly 19% of those questioned elected not to answer. What steps do companies take to encourage diversity and inclusion? The prevalence of “Yes” answers was encouraging. Many of these were followed up with detailed descriptions of initiatives and programs in place to promote diversity and inclusion at the respondents’ workplaces. For example, a 29-year-old Black woman who described her company as “very diverse” detailed the organization’s initiatives like this: “We have a diversity and inclusion council with men and women of all different backgrounds from across the world. We have a North American task force; we publish our diversity data; we do outreach to educational institutions including HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] to source talent; and we have anti-racism and inclusion training.” Also, a 28-year-old woman who identifies as American Indian or Alaska Native in Austin, Texas, commented, “Our leadership has recently made great strides to take action to ensure diversity and inclusion is a topic our entire company is knowledgeable about. We are also taking actions to raise awareness about inequality in the tech industry in a landmark report about BIPOC in tech as well as finding ways to volunteer with a BIPOC kids coding organization.” The number and breadth of diversity and inclusion initiatives our SEOs described were also encouraging. These ranged from interactive activities such as diversity training sessions and workshops to company communication efforts like informative newsletters and the publication of diversity data. When it comes to personnel management, some businesses are further seeking to instill diversity and excise bias in their criteria for recruiting, hiring, and promoting. And, especially important in response to the on-the-job-learning aspects specific to the SEO field, participation in internships and mentoring programs is also a growing and well-supported option. A 28-year-old Black nonbinary SEO described several initiatives at her large agency, saying, “They have a group focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are updating their practices around recruiting and interviewing to remove any unconscious racial biases. And, providing mandatory anti-racist training for all employees.” For more detailed information on the measures companies are enacting to improve diversity and inclusion within their organizations, continue to the section below. What are some solutions? Diversity and inclusion data can look discouraging overall, but anecdotal responses told us that a breadth of measures are being taken to address disparities in representation, discriminatory practices, and inherent bias in everyday operations. Here are several of the initiatives cited by survey takers to enhance diversity and inclusion in the SEO workplace. 1. Initiatives at the corporate level Employee participation in and consultation with advisory panels and task forces was a commonly cited effort, in addition to compiling and distributing informative resources like newsletters and reading lists. Several respondents described opt-in cultural activities designed to facilitate diversity, such as setting up Slack channels around particular affinities or topics, establishing employee book clubs, and spotlighting diversity in holiday celebrations. One SEO generalist in the U.K., a 37-year-old white woman, described several activities of her company’s diversity organization, among them “[organizing] events around different holidays so everyone feels included. We celebrate Eid and Diwali, for example, and everyone in the company is encouraged to share and request days organized around things that are important to them. It’s a great initiative and I’ve learned so much from people openly sharing and discussing.” 2. Employee resource groups Affinity-based employee resource groups, or ERGs, were cited as extremely valued resources for SEOs. These groups foster safe and informed forums in which different groups can gather to discuss issues, devise requests, suggest solutions, and share information. One SEO manager, a 58-year-old white trans woman with nearly 15 years in the business, commented, “I am a five-time elected board member of the LGBTQIA ERG diversity group, Pride. We have seven ERGs here at [my company].” Depending on the workplace and its demographics and company culture, ERGs may center on shared issues of gender, age, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+ orientation, disability, mental health, neurodiversity, religion, parenting, military or veteran status, international communities, women in leadership, and more. Naturally, any group is most effective and receives greater respect and resources when it’s sponsored and promoted by leaders at the executive level — whether or not the leaders share the demographics of the group. 3. Personal education and growth Each individual has a responsibility to self-educate on topics related to bias and discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion surrounding the struggle of groups historically targeted for exclusion and injustice. 4. Allies in leadership The support and advocacy of leaders at the executive level is not only the only ingredient necessary for changing company cultures overall. The vocal and steadfast support of allies from other groups is essential — and, unfortunately, often still lacking. One SEO consultant, a 49-year-old woman who is biracial Latina and white, put it quite succinctly: “I see a lot of women in the SEO industry speaking out about the lack of diversity and inclusion, but very few men in the industry. Whenever one of these conversations gets going on Twitter, most of the men in SEO whom I follow suddenly get very quiet. The industry is only going to change when men also start taking action and speaking out about how the industry treats everyone other than men. Silence is complicity.” 5. Speaking up: see something, say something Many people witness incidents of bias but struggle with how to respond. Especially if a company has not formalized a set of procedures for addressing such conflicts, employees are left to figure it out on their own. As we know, there is no standardized societal guidebook for how to deal with discriminatory situations, especially in the U.S., where attitudes can be polarized and discussions difficult to initiate or sustain. Consequently, people chose a variety of responses to these situations, as evidenced by these findings: As part of our survey, we asked participants whether they’d witnessed discrimination or bias against someone in their workplace during the past year based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. In all, 43.2% replied that they had, so we asked these participants to go further by telling us what they did in response. Of that group, more than 4 in 10 (42.9%) took no action because they didn’t feel comfortable getting involved. This was true even though the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has declared that workers “have a right to work free of discrimination” based on “race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older) or genetic information.” One reason may be fear of retaliation, which the EEOC found was the most common issue cited by federal employees in discrimination cases. The same is likely true in the private sector. Respondents may fear the outcome if their employer fails to act on their report, and/or the accused discovers the source of the complaint. In light of this, it was encouraging to find in our survey that 41.2% of witnesses to workplace discrimination told their supervisor. (Another option, reporting the conduct to Human Resources, was not included as a choice among our survey answers). The most common answer: 56.3% confided in a colleague. This might indicate that these respondents weren’t comfortable going to an in-house supervisor, but also that they felt distressed enough about the situation that they wanted to tell someone. Among other responses, slightly more than one-third (33.6%) spoke out in the moment, while others addressed the situation later, either with the target of the discrimination (37.8%) or the perpetrator (21%). In the accompanying comments, several reported following up later with both the target and the perpetrator. 6. Mentoring someone from a different background SEO is a peculiar field in that there isn’t a well-defined path into the industry. The majority of SEOs are self-taught or learn on the job, figuring things out as they go. Or they have a mentor. One in three SEOs surveyed (33.1%) said mentors were their most significant source of SEO knowledge early in their careers. Our survey asked four questions that went to the question of diversity among mentors. The first two asked whether respondents had worked with a mentor 1) of their own gender and/or 2) of the same race/ethnicity as theirs. The results were interesting. While only 41.9% reported working with a mentor of their own gender, more than two-thirds (69.5%) said they’d worked with one of the same race/ethnicity. This would seem to indicate more diverse interaction among genders than exists between people of different races and ethnicities. The next two questions asked whether respondents had worked with a BIPOC mentor and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In terms of diversity, the results of the first question were disappointing, while answers to the second were encouraging. A total of 10.8% said they’d worked with a BIPOC member, but that was far short of the U.S. population for that category, according to the U.S. Census. Black Americans alone accounted for 13.4% of the U.S. population in 2019, according to Census Bureau estimates, with Hispanic/Latino individuals checking in at 18.5%. By contrast, 10.4% of respondents in our survey said they’d worked with a mentor from the LGBTQ+ community. That’s nearly double the percentage of LGBTQ individuals in tech-heavy California during 2019, according to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, which placed the figure at 5.3%. Methodology These insights were the result of a month-long survey of 326 SEO professionals conducted by North Star Inbound from August 24 to September 28, 2020. We promoted the survey on Twitter, our own blog, and by email. We’re grateful to Moz and Search Engine Land for also sharing the link. In terms of gender, the SEOs described themselves as follows: 203 identify as women109 identify as men1 is a trans woman2 are trans men11 are nonbinary, genderqueer, two-spirit, or gender nonconformist3 preferred not to say With regard to sexual orientation: 72.8% said they were heterosexual11.5% said they were bisexual4.1% said they were pansexual3.9% said they were gay3.3% said they were lesbian1.1% said they were asexual1.9% preferred not to say The SEOs described their race or ethnicity as follows: (Participants were able to check more than one box) 231 White32 Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish28 Black or African American18 Asian or Asian American8 Indian/South Asian11 Middle Eastern/North African/Arabian peninsula4 Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander3 American Indian or Alaska Native The SEOs who completed the survey came from the following countries: 218 from the U.S.35 from the U.K.11 from Canada9 from Germany8 from Taiwan6 from Spain2 each from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, and Switzerland1 each from Argentina, Austria, China, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Peru, Portugal, and Turkey The survey respondents’ average number of years in SEO was 6.9. The median number of years was 5. The average age was 34.5, and the median age was 32.Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!
From cult classics to recent box office successes, here are some of the best LGBTQ films streaming right now.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands, along with the tie-in media leading up to its launch, is going to start working in a lot more LGBTQ+-friendly elements, and Blizzard is just getting started.
Twitter has been hit with accusations of double standards after it tweeted that threatening harm against another person was against its rules following Donald Trump’s positive Covid-19 test.The official Twitter Comms account posted a short statement on shortly after midnight on Saturday, which read: “Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed. This does not automatically mean suspension.”The tweet was issued in response to tweets which appeared to celebrate the fact that Trump had been hospitalised with Covid-19 – but Twitter’s approach has since been fiercely criticised by users who have faced years of abuse and death threats via the platform. The platform has long been accused to failing to deal effectively with hateful messages shared both publicly and privately, with many users – particularly those from minority groups – repeatedly targeted. Author Malorie Blackman was among those to question Twitter’s message, writing: “Weeks of death threats and serious threats against my family when I was Children’s Laureate resulted in Twitter doing bugger all about it. *Side-eyes in Black woman*.”  Weeks of death threats and serious threats against my family when I was Children's Laureate resulted in Twitter doing bugger all about it. *side-eyes in Black woman* https://t.co/pKsvH1OVNu— Aunty Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) October 3, 2020Women’s rights activist and founder of UK-based charity Glitch, which works to tackle online abuse, Seyi Akiwowo tweeted: “Women, Black people, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people on Twitter are sent death threats everyday. Why didn’t you care then?“People have wished covid on Black and Asian communities. Why have you only released this statement after a white straight man in America has Covid?”Women, Black people, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people on Twitter are sent death threats everyday. Why didn't you care then? People have wished covid on Black and Asian communities. Why have you only released this statement after a white straight man in America has Covid? https://t.co/wjKfVvqBul— Seyi Akiwowo (@seyiakiwowo) October 3, 2020Food writer and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe described her legal fight to get hateful messages directed towards her in response to Twitter’s statement, writing: “I lugged six lever arch files to the High Court in 2017 that were almost entirely filled with printouts of tweets that wished or hoped for my death, serious bodily harm and fatal disease.“It took 18 months, £800k of lawyers, and winning a libel case to get some of them removed.”I lugged six lever arch files to the High Court in 2017 that were almost entirely filled with printouts of tweets that wished or hoped for my death, serious bodily harm and fatal disease. It took 18 months, £800k of lawyers, and winning a libel case to get some of them removed. https://t.co/gLj8wfmEDF— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) October 3, 2020Other users also called out the frequent barrage of hateful comments directed toward minority groups from users on the site, with some sharing their personal experiences of Twitter failing to take action even after reporting messages as abusive. Do you know how many people on here are constantly calling for genocide against Jews or Muslims or Black people or LGBTQ people— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) October 3, 2020Does this also go for Black and Brown women who have long been and continue to be harassed and threatened with assault and death on this platform or nah? I think no. Because I see those same accounts still up. Still causing harm. Your *anyone* is disingenuous. https://t.co/NTFzc93ASs— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 3, 2020Has Twitter seen Twitter? I barely remember any of the barrage of tweets suggesting my sexual assault, violent death or execution being removed. https://t.co/Xp5iDzX4ag— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) October 3, 2020This was your ruling 12 hours ago lol pic.twitter.com/67PI6kg6Mh— William Wilkinson (@willw) October 3, 2020The platform has taken decisive action against some Twitter users who were found to violate site guidelines in recent months, with Katie Hopkins, far-right blogger David Vance and musician Wiley all permanently suspended from the site. While Twitter has been praised for shutting down these accounts, users have urged the site to do much more to protect users – particularly Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, LGBTQ people, disabled people and women – from abusive messages. HuffPost UK has contacted Twitter for comment. Related... White House Officials Still Aren't Wearing Masks, Even As They Address Trump's Coronavirus When Trump Went After Hunter Biden For His Addiction, He Went After Me Too The 7 Types Of Protester Who Attend An Anti-Lockdown Rally
Plus: A little reminder to not pay off ransomware crooks In brief  LGBTQ dating site Grindr has squashed a security bug in its website that could have been trivially exploited to hijack anyone's profile using just the victim's email address.…
London mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested the government ignored his pleas for stricter coronavirus measures in the capital because of party politics.Khan also said ministers lack the humility to change their approach to tackling the outbreak despite it clearly being unsuccessful.When asked why the government had not placed London into lockdown despite his calls for stricter measures, Khan told HuffPost UK: “What the government needs to realise is we’re all on the same side; it’s not a Tory government versus a Labour mayor.“It’s actually all of us on the same side fighting this virus and what I’m saying to the government is: ‘Let’s work together to take preemptive action to avoid the need for a national lockdown.’ I do not want that and it’s really important we do what we can to avoid it.“I think the government has been slow throughout this pandemic. They were slow in February and March – and they tend to be slow now. It’s inexcusable.Khan’s comments come as local leaders in the north of England hit out at the government over lockdown restrictions set to come in on Saturday.Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston has vowed to “defy the government” over the restrictions in his town, accusing ministers of “monstrous ignorance”. His stance was backed by Hartlepool Council leader Shane Moore.Last week, Khan spoke with prime minister Boris Johnson to seek approval of new local lockdown measures in the capital.  That did not happen but London was placed on the government’s coronavirus local lockdown watchlist following a surge in cases – meaning stricter restrictions could be imposed if cases continue to rise.“The government doesn’t appear to be nimble and quick at responding to this virus or have the humility to realise when they’ve got things wrong and change course,” Khan continued.“I’ll continue to engage with the government and work with the government when I can. But the government needs to work with regional and local government across the country to make sure we get a grip on this virus.”Khan wants to break rank and exercise the freedom to impose restrictions in the capital as he sees fit – including a review of the 10pm pub curfew. He added: “What I’m saying to the government is we, the city, want to go as one. So I’m meeting councillors and Public Health England later on. We want to take preemptive action so, for example, so I think the 10pm curfew isn’t working.“It’s counterproductive when I see the numbers of people outside bars, restaurants and nightclubs after 10pm – not only is the increase not being decelerated it actually could be getting worse.”Khan was speaking on Thursday as an independent report he commissioned was published, revealing the stark inequalities that have led to a disproportionate impact of the virus.It found that Black people are at almost twice the risk of dying from Covid-19 than White people and mortality rates from the virus are three times higher for men in lower-paid, manual roles.As campaigners urge the government to ramp up measures to protect Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities who are being disproportionately affected by the virus, ministers stand accused of not caring about marginalised groups.Khan said he understands the concerns.“I think the government’s got to walk the walk. Sometimes they talk the talk,” he said. “The reality is Black people in our country tend to work more in manual jobs than office or managerial jobs so what we’ve seen over the last few months is even though the government were forewarned about the potential disproportionate impact of Covid-19, no action was taken.“So I understand why Black Londoners and Black people across the country think the government doesn’t care about them. “The reason why I published the report today is we now know we’re into a second wave. It’s possible to give the government the benefit of the doubt about not realising the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 in the first wave. This report being published today with recommendations that I’ve sent to the government means there can be no excuse if we see, over the next few weeks and months, a disproportionate impact on Black people.”Since the first wave, the ethnicities of hospital deaths are being recorded and occupational risk assessments are being undertaken so frontline workers with underlying health conditions are placed at risk in their line of duty.But there’s a lot more that needs to be done.“The issues that affect the structural racism that exists haven’t been addressed and the government seems to be hesitant to accept there’s a problem and if you can’t accept there’s a problem, you can’t take action,” the mayor said.“My fear is amplified by the fact that we know we’ve entered a recession but also if we’re not careful this recession will be extremely deep and having lived through the 1980s where Black people suffered disproportionately with mass unemployment I worry about another generation being written off in the 2020s like they were in the 1980s.”The report also revealed that the pandemic has negatively impacted disabled Londoners who reported increased difficulties performing practical tasks such as shopping for groceries, as well as accessing up-to-date health information about the virus.Concerns were also raised around the lack of guidance available in accessible formats, including in the government’s daily press briefings which did not always feature British sign language interpreters.Almost four in five (79 per cent) of LGBTQ+ people said their mental health had been negatively impacted by the lockdown, and many young LGBTQ+ people have reported feeling unsafe in their current housing conditions.The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester and co-authored with the University of Sussex and The Ubele Initiative, the London based social enterprise. Reflecting on the past seven months, Khan added: “Londoners have made monumental sacrifices over the last few months and I’m very grateful for them doing so. But we’ve also suffered more than 8,000 deaths and a number of people losing their businesses and jobs. So, the health and economic crisis are linked.” Related... This Is The Sheer Chaos Unleashed By Last-Minute Local Lockdowns Middlesbrough Mayor Vows To ‘Defy’ Matt Hancock’s New Lockdown Measures Merseyside Placed Under Stricter Lockdown Rules, Announces Matt Hancock London Should Face Fresh Lockdown By Monday, Khan Says
Amazon Music recently rolled out free podcasts, taking on Spotify, which has grown mainly because of its rich podcast content.A lot of noted celebrities, as well as newbies in the entertainment industry, are getting fame by running their podcasts.And with Amazon Music, you can treat yourself with some of the most famous podcasts, including upcoming and exclusive shows from the likes of DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, and Dan Patrick, for free.Amazon Music has recently unleashed its free podcasts service in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan for users on all subscription tiers.You will be so engrossed that you would not want to leave it unfinished.Amazon Music has an incredible library of podcasts for its users that includes popular podcasts like, Serial, WTF with Marc Maron, RadioLab, Why Won’t You Date Me?Another one of its upcoming exclusives is En la Sala by Becky G, a singer, songwriter, and actress, and she will be talking on Latinx pride, women empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, relationships, politics, and sports.New to podcasts?