Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion
UK School removes JK Rowling as house name stating she is not a "suitable representative"
J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2010.
J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2010. Credit: Daniel Ogren (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Following a decision made by students at Seaford Head School in East Sussex, United Kingdom, one of the houses will no longer be named after JK Rowling. The reason named is "her recent words about the trans community".

In addition, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has been removed as name-giver as "a figure who promoted racism".

Diversity & Inclusion
German all-female publishing house wants to turn the industry upside down : Ecco publishes and employs exclusively women
German all-female publishing house wants to turn the industry upside down : Ecco publishes and employs exclusively women
Credit: Ecco Verlag

The new Hamburg-based Ecco publishing house wants to help women gain a greater presence in the literary world and empower them. It will launch its first program in March and publishes books exclusively by female authors and employs only women. "We want to focus on the female gaze and perspective with our content," Magdalena Mau, producer on the Ecco team, told the press.

Diversity & Inclusion
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a black african woman, to become head of the Wold Trade Organization
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a black african woman, to become head of the Wold Trade Organization
Credit: By the International Monetary Fund - http://www.imf.org/external/photo/allphoto.asp?g=52 (Public Domain)

Economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria looks set to become the first woman, and moreover the first black woman, to head the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trump had previously blocked her appointment, but Biden has now come out clearly in favor of Okonjo-Iweala. While Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is making history simply by being the first woman - and from Africa to boot - to head the WTO, says Nigeria's Amara Nwankpa, she is not only bringing "diversity and inclusion" to the international stage.

During her second term as finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala was "seen as a driving force behind the development of reform programs that helped improve government transparency and stabilize the economy", according to the US business magazine Forbes, which ranked her among the top 50 Power Women worldwide in 2015. Okonjo-Iweala will thus "bring to the new job impressive negotiating skills and leadership to address key issues facing the planet today", finds Amara Nwankpa of the Nigerian Public Policy Initiative.

Diversity & Inclusion
185 LGBTQ actors and actresses come out in german Newspaper
185 LGBTQ actors and actresses come out in german Newspaper
Credit: Courtesy of SZ

185 lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, non-binary and transgender actors and actresses have come out in the current SZ Magazin of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the biggest German newspapers. "We are here and we are many!" - with these words begins the manifesto of the #actout group. The group emphasizes that there is no incompatibility between one's sexual and gender identity and the ability to embody roles convincingly and believably.

They wanted to initiate a debate, create visibility and break taboos. Actor and director Godehard Giese ("The spoken word counts") emphasized that the group's main concern in the run-up to the event had been to "make themselves visible".

Diversity & Inclusion
Sarah Thomas First female referee in Super Bowl history
Sarah Thomas First female referee in Super Bowl history
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

This year's US National Football League final between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs featured several firsts, among them is Sarah Thomas. She is the first woman to referee the Super Bowl final, probably the most important American football game in the world.

In the Super Bowl, Thomas was a so-called down judge on the sidelines. And she wasn´t the only woman. Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first two full-time female coaches in the final. Javadifar is on the fitness coaching staff, while Locust is an assistant defensive coordinator. A total of eight full-time coaching positions are held by women this NFL season - more than ever before.

Diversity & Inclusion
Stuttgart takes action against sexist advertising
Schlossplatzspringbrunnen, Stuttgart, Germany
Schlossplatzspringbrunnen, Stuttgart, Germany Credit: Julian Herzog (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Too many scantily clad women in advertising campaigns and Stuttgart is now drawing up a catalogue of criteria on what advertising may contain in future. Sexist and otherwise discriminatory content will not be allowed.

Because new contracts for advertising space will soon be concluded in Stuttgart, the changes will soon be visible in the cityscape.

Diversity & Inclusion
Largest German dictionary "Online-Duden" introduces female form
Largest German dictionary "Online-Duden" introduces female form
Credit: Screenshot site: www.duden.de

Changes are now being made to the approximately 12,000 personal and occupational terms that the Duden previously listed exclusively in the generic masculine form. Every designation will now also be listed in the female form. Ms. Kunkel-Razum, the head of the online Duden editorial department, says, "When we talk about specific people, the generic masculine is increasingly being questioned." In the meantime, she says, gender-sensitive language is a phenomenon that has taken hold of the broad masses.

Diversity & Inclusion
Switzerland permits same-sex marriages
Switzerland permits same-sex marriages
Credit: unsplash.com / Jiroe

The Swiss parliament has approved the introduction of same-sex marriage. With Friday's vote, both chambers of parliament have now approved the "marriage for all" bill.

In all likelihood, however, the Swiss will have the final say: The conservative Federal Democratic Union (EDU) has announced a referendum on marriage for same-sex couples.

Diversity & Inclusion
Paris mayor says that fine for hiring too many women is "absurd"

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has stated that she is "happy to announce we have been fined" following a €90,000 against the city by the French Ministry of Public Service. She added that "This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous" and joked "The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist".

Paris had been fined because eleven women and five men had been promoted in 2018, breaching a national equality rule.

Diversity & Inclusion
Paris pays fine for discrimination over hiring too many women into management positions

The French Ministry of Public Service has finded the city of Paris for €90,000 over discrimination - because it employs too many women in management positions.

Two years ago, Paris had advertised 16 new management posts - of which "eleven went to women and only five to men," according to Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The quota of women was 69 percent of the positions - too high, so the Ministry of Public Service.

It refers to a regulation according to which at least 40 percent of such posts must be filled by members of one sex. With only 31 percent, men were disadvantaged in the Paris tender, it said.

Diversity & Inclusion
French minister for Europe Clément Beaune comes out as gay
French minister for Europe Clément Beaune comes out as gay
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

According to a preliminary report by the magazine "Têtu" and a summary by Politico, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune has revealed himself to be gay in an interview for the latest issue of the queer magazine.

"Today it seems trivial to say it, but it is not a matter of course", said the 39-year-old, who also put the coming-out into a social context and declared: "Beatings, violence, rejection, all this will happen in 2020. Reporting my sexual orientation today is not indecency or staging intimacy".

Diversity & Inclusion
Lithuania appoints first female prime minister
Lithuania appoints first female prime minister
Credit: Rokasdarulis / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Lithuania has appointed Ingrida Šimonytė as its first female prime minister. She had been proposed by the liberal and conservative coalition with a majority of 62 to 41 votes. The 46-year-old is said to be impartial and has already served as finance minister.

Diversity & Inclusion
Discriminated gay soldiers in Germany to be rehabilitated and compensated

Until the year 2000, soldiers of the German armed forces were discriminated against because of their homosexuality. The Cabinet has decided to rehabilitate the soldiers involved. Convictions of the military courts are to be overturned and compensation paid, confirmed the federal government on Wednesday the 25th.

Diversity & Inclusion
Actor Elliot Page, known for 'Juno' and 'The Umbrella Academy,' comes out as transgender
Elliot Page
Elliot Page Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Elliot Page, who earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his starring role in "Juno" after breaking out in the 2005 film "Hard Candy," came out as transgender on Tuesday, sharing the news in a long social media post.

Page, who has been credited in film and TV roles as Ellen Page, currently stars in Netflix’s hit superhero series "The Umbrella Academy".

Shortly after Page's announcement, GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) posted a tweet noting that the actor "has given us fantastic characters on-screen, and has been an outspoken advocate for all LGBTQ people".

Diversity & Inclusion
Talking Stove helps people with visual impairments

Inventors of a start-up from Aachen have developed rotary knobs for the stove for people with visual impairments. These can be plugged into electric stoves as required and transmit the stove setting to a loudspeaker via radio. This makes cooking easier for people who cannot see, because they can hear the temperature of the respective stove top.

Diversity & Inclusion
Germany will compensate homosexual soldiers for past discrimination
Germany will compensate homosexual soldiers for past discrimination
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Stub

The German Cabinet adopted a draft law that provides for the revocation of rulings by the military courts on consensual homosexual acts. For every relocated ruling Germany will pay 3000€ to the affected soldier and the same sum will also be paid to soldiers who have been dismissed because of their sexual orientation, who have not been promoted or who have not been entrusted with responsible duties. Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had already recognized the importance of rehabilitation before the cabinet meeting and apologized to those affected.

Diversity & Inclusion
New Zealand introduces Hijab to the police uniform
New Zealand introduces Hijab to the police uniform
Credit: Courtesy of NZ Police

Zeena Ali has become the first New Zealand police officer to wear a police-issued hijab as part of her official uniform. She had joined the police forces after the Christchurch terror attack and now worked with the police to design a hijab that is both functional for work as a police officer and considerate to her religion.

Diversity & Inclusion
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Credit: unsplash.com / Alexander Sinn

Since 1981 hate speech against gays and lesbians has been a punishable offense in Norway. Now the Scandinavian country extended its protection law to include bisexuals and trans people. In the hate speech prohibition, the category "homosexual orientation" was changed to the category "sexual orientation" and so among other things also Bi- and Pansexual humans were included. Furthermore, "gender, gender identity or expression" was added. Under the law, hateful comments in public can be punished with up to three years imprisonment.