In this REACH podcast hosted by Shannett Thompson Partner in Regulatory, Shannett discusses joining the Halo code, the topic of hair discrimination and what hair discrimination means to them with Kingsley Napley employees from across the firm:
- Sean O'Beirne – Associate in Family
- Satvir Sokhi - Associate in Clinical Negligence
- Melissa Joseph – Legal Assistant
- Leah Clark – BD Marketing Assistant
For many employees, battling workplace dress codes - official or unofficial - is part of everyday life. Often feeling torn between choosing career on the one hand, and cultural identity and hair health on the other.
The Halo Code is the UK’s first Black Hair code. The Halo code explicitly protects employees who come to work with natural hair and protective hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities.
By adopting the Halo Code, employers are proactively taking a stand to ensure that no member of their community faces barriers or judgments because of their Afro-textured hair.
For more information on the Halo code and how to sign up to the Halo code please click here.
Shannett Thompson (she/her)
Latest blogs & news
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently launched a consultation on proposed amendments to its Listing Rules aimed at improving diversity and inclusion on company boards and executive committees. In particular, they are seeking feedback on proposals to require listed companies to publicly disclose annually whether they meet specific board diversity targets, including in relation to ethnicity, and to publish the composition of their boards and most senior level of executive management. To understand why such proposals are necessary, it is important to consider the current state of ethnic minority representation in UK leadership, why diversity at senior levels is so vitally important and what steps can employers take to improve diversity.
When I became Senior Partner of Kingsley Napley in 2018, I made a very clear pledge to the firm – that I would make it one of my key objectives to increase diverse talent and foster a culture of inclusivity.
There are various drivers forcing law firms to embrace a more diverse workforce and to attract, promote and retain talent from all backgrounds, regardless of gender, gender-identity, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, and socio-economic class (to name but a few).
An urgent inquiry into systemic racism in the NHS and how it manifests itself in maternity care was launched yesterday. The Inquiry has been convened by Birthrights: an organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth.
Today will see the start of the UK’s first Race Equality Week (an initiative “to unite organisations and individuals in activity to address issues affecting ethnic minority employees”). Whilst initiatives like this and, indeed, the UK’s first ever Ethnicity Pay Gap Day (8 January 2021) are very welcome and a cause for celebration and hope in relation to such matters, there is much work yet to be done on the issue of race equality and we cannot afford to be complacent. The ethnicity pay gap is one aspect of this that still needs to be addressed, despite the recent publicity around it and the increasing pressure on Government to take action.
According to Diversity UK, in 2018 roughly 13.8% of the UK population was from a minority ethnic background and 40% of the population in London were from the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
Kingsley Napley had the pleasure of hosting an evening with Spark Inside. The charity coaches prisoners and advocates for change within the criminal justice system. Please read on to find out what we learnt and how you can help.
The global events of this year including the Black Lives Matter movement, the apparent disproportionate impact on the BAME population of COVID-19 and news that the ethnicity pay gap remains significant, have again brought the issue of lack of racial equality to the fore.
We are now nine months into the pandemic and we are still learning new things about its effect on our personal and professional lives.
Universities UK (“UUK”) has published a new set of recommendations designed to decisively tackle racial harassment as part of wider efforts to address racial inequality in the higher education sector.
During Black History Month a great deal of attention is rightly paid to teaching black history in schools and colleges. Outside of October is a different matter, as the curriculum focuses on a predominantly white perspective of events to the detriment of students and society. This is not a criticism of teachers, who do a great deal of excellent work and are under immense pressure to teach the parts of history which will help students do well in their exams. However, the range of history taught in schools does need to expand and anyone involved with a school can help speed up this change.
Addressing mental health issues can often be seen as a taboo within the BAME community. The reasons for this are complex and include both cultural and societal reasons. As an Asian male, I know mental health is treated as a “theory” or a “myth”; something that is not really there. In this blog, I want to touch upon the reasons for this, but more importantly, I want to share how I try to keep my mental health positive.
Recent events and Black Lives Matter protests have prompted companies to look closely at their own record on ethnic diversity. Having a diverse workplace with a culture of inclusivity is now recognised as being a key factor in business performance and success. However, achieving it needs some careful consideration by employers.
Throughout recent events which have seen an increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement and issues of race equality, there has been a lot of discussion around our biases and how we can all do work to unlearn the negative stereotypes that occupy our minds and affect how we see and react to others. Most people know that conscious acts of overt racism in the workplace are unlawful and, thankfully, such occurrences are rare. But what about the less obvious and sometimes unconscious discriminatory behaviours in the workplace? What are they? What problems do they cause and what steps can we take to overcome them?
How can employers and managers tackle racial discrimination in the workplace and encourage people to speak up?
As recent events have shown, race discrimination and lack of diversity in many professions and workplaces is still very much a reality, even in today’s world. Tackling this issue in the workplace is not easy and, until recently, some employers might have perhaps have tried to avoid doing so unless faced with an obvious issue or complaint. However, this state of affairs can no longer be the case; employers and managers must now be prepared to take action against racism and encourage others to speak up.
An independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession – if at first you don’t succeed, try try again, but how many chances do we need?
We recently wrote about the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives in promoting a good working culture within law firms, and explained why one of the key responsibilities of any employer is to create both a diverse and an inclusive workplace.
In this blog, Satvir looks at racial inequality in mental healthcare and explores the reasons for this inequality.
Is a lack of diversity really that important? Does it matter whether an officer is White or Black when their job is to impartially enforce the law and protect the public?
The killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, has been rightly met with widespread anger and condemnation. People have taken to the streets for rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter (‘BLM’) movement in the USA, the UK and around the world. Demonstrating exactly why people of Black heritage are entirely justified if they ever feel unsafe in the UK today is the fact that Parliament’s first response to the BLM protests was to draft a bill that protects its statues, not its citizens.
COVID-19 only highlighted the racial inequality within the healthcare setting which has put BAME patients disproportionately at risk for years
Recent events around the globe have made the reality of racial inequality in society feature at the forefront of media coverage, political discussion and social consciousness, but the effect of this inequality has been felt by those in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community long before this. It has become clear that there is a lot of work to be done to address these inequalities in every aspect of society and COVID-19 has demonstrated that significant progress must be made in the healthcare sector to protect patients and healthcare workers from a BAME background.