Friday, 20 October 2017

Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Gala/Awards 2018

We launched the Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Gala/Awards 2018 sponsored by Diamond Recruitment this morning and we’re all very excited about our plans.
The inaugural event in March of this year was a huge success with many people saying they had seen nothing quite like it in Northern Ireland before. There was a fantastic buzz on the night which seemed to bring out the best in everyone including Sarah Travers the gala host (though to be fair she’s always brilliant or very close to it).

This year we have the following awards available :

•             Best Employer for Equality & Diversity in NI (large and small employer)
•             Best Gender Initiative
•             Best LGBT Initiative
•             Best Disability Initiative
•             Individual Diversity Champion

Equality issues appear to be back in the headlines now every day as Tinsel Town tries to sort itself out and rid itself of the predators that so many have known about for too long and, it seems, have been reluctant to challenge or to name publicly.

We have our own issues too of course. A survey reported in the Belfast Telegraph this week suggests that we have in Northern Ireland the highest rate of workplace harassment in the UK and by far.

Our own equality and diversity e-learning tackles many of the harassment issues still to be found in the modern day workplace. This together with the Awards, and the Annual Review of Employment Law conference we do every year is our humble contribution to making Northern Ireland workspace suitable for everyone.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Holywood Harassment and Weinstein, Price, Lawrence -it's all about our celebrity obession

It’s oozing out of Holywood now like a lanced boil, successful allegations of sexual harassment by female stars and wannabes. Harvey Weinstein is facing multiple allegations of rape and harassment and no doubt a sizeable claim from his now ex-wife. We learnt yesterday that the head of Amazon films Roy Price has resigned following allegations that he propositioned Isa Hackett “repeatedly and crudely”. No doubt more detail will be provided in due course. Now Jennifer Lawrence is claiming she was made to take part in a nude line up as part of an audition.
What we’re witnessing from this side of the Atlantic has been mirrored here already. First to be outed and properly pilloried was Jimmy Saville as countless allegations came in from hundreds of people about his shocking, criminal past. Then it was the turn of other DJs. Dave Lee Travis was given a suspended sentence for assault on one young girl in 1995 after facing a multitude of charges that jurors just couldn’t seem to agree on.

The obsession with celebrity both sides of the Atlantic does nothing to help protect women from men in power. Complaints when they do reach the authorities are too easily brushed off as coming from attention seekers wanting to sell a story to the tabloids.  Too many women are ready to forgo lodging formal complaints knowing the damage they may do to their chances of achieving leading roles and fame of a global dimension.

These people wherever and whoever they are should expect to work in the same environment as everyone else. Employees both in the UK and in the USA at reputable employers are required to do regular training on equality and diversity in the workplace. Tinseltown's training should be no exception. Perhaps even mandatory.