Category Archives: equality


NEPDEC logo | 570-207-1540

The mission of NEPDEC is to create a more inclusive, dynamic culture and to prepare for increasingly complex and diverse workplaces. NEPDEC is committed to breaking down barriers of inequities and exclusion by recognizing the unique traits and characteristics of our constituents.

The recent tragic and senseless death of George Floyd and others reminds us of the continued injustices against people of color in our country. We feel anger, despair, and a sense of hopelessness over his loss and are ashamed by the lack of progress we have made as a nation in achieving social justice for all citizens.

We are compelled to amplify our voices by challenging biases and institutional barriers that preserve economic and social inequality.

This means rooting out inequities including systemic racism by tackling these issues constructively within our own organizations and with our communities.

NEPDEC’s goals are to provide educational programming to support equity initiatives; organize networking events to promote interaction and sharing; build strong alliances among historically underserved populations; and share important educational and other resources to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe that collaboration and leveraging our regional resources is crucial for efforts to succeed.

As part of our ongoing commitment, we invite you to join us for a Community Conversation on how we can work together as a region to progress on these issues.

Sign up by email to join our network or community organizers, and to receive details on when that conversation will take place. You may also call us at 570-207-1540.

Employers plan positive diversity recruitment

Employers in Britain are planning to more aggressively recruit gay, disabled, female and Asian workers in 2007 and 2008, a new poll reveals.

More than 215 hiring managers and 500 workers were surveyed for job site by Harris Interactive and 21 per cent said that they planned to enhance their recruitment process for women, 16 per cent for disabled workers, 13 per cent for Asian workers and gay/lesbian workers (eight per cent).

A quarter of employers polled (26 per cent) said that they planned to increase their staff numbers by more in the last six months of 2007 than the first, with nearly 49 per cent of bosses hiring more workers in the first half of the year.

Entitled 2007 UK Job Forecast, the study predicts that job growth in Britain will remain stable until the end of this year and employers will “remain committed to expanding the demographics of their staffs”.

Dave Smith, Managing Director of “UK employers will continue to struggle with a shrinking skilled labour force as Baby Boomers move closer to retirement and the smaller generations of replacement workers falls under quota.”

The UK workforce can also expect to see employers become more creative in their recruitment and retention efforts, evident in higher salaries, increased training and more flexible work cultures.”

A raft of new legislation protecting workers from age, racial, religious, gender and other forms of discrimination in Britain has highlighted the importance of workplace diversity in Britain.

This story was first published by Adfero

‘Ginger’ taunts about red hair could be next big form of workplace discrimination

A tribunal decision has prompted new fears that ‘gingerism’ could be the next big form of workplace discrimination.

Last week, a waitress was awarded £17,618 compensation for unfair dismissal over taunts about her red hair.

Sarah Primmer suffered a series of lewd and embarrassing comments and was eventually sacked from her job.

Personnel Today research earlier this year revealed 81% of readers thought it was acceptable to tease people about ginger hair.

A culture of ‘lookism’ is now emerging in the workplace, with gingers often the butt of office jokes, the survey said.

This story was first published on Personnel Today

Survey reveals workers take colleagues less seriously if they have an accent

It’s not what you say but how you say it that may cause judgement from your work colleagues, research has found.

A poll by hearing campaign Heal the World found that 15% of 4,000 respondents would take a work colleague less seriously if they had an accent, while 11% said an accent would influence whether or not they did business with them.

One-quarter of respondents said the Brummie accent was the most annoying, with a Scottish accent perceived as the most aggressive.
People who spoke the Queen’s English were thought to be the most intelligent, while seven in 10 respondents said it carried the most authority.

The Scouse accent was found to be the most untrustworthy according to one in three respondents, followed by Cockney, which received 22% of the votes.

Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at Kings College, London, said: “Accents can play a huge role in our initial attitude towards others. This explains why some people are more likely to adapt their accent to avoid being stereotyped and to encourage a particular impression.”

“There are essentially two components to an accent – location and strength. The location of someone’s accent encourages particular stereotypes and we presume people with stronger accents are less intelligent and are educated to a lesser degree,” Wilson added.

This story was first published by Personnel Today

Lesbian and gay trends in the City

On the day the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) regulations come into force new research indicates how far the City has moved to overcome its traditional image as an inhospitable environment for gay and lesbian employees.

London is the unrivalled gay and lesbian capital of Europe and also the continent’s leading financial centre. The government estimates that 6% of the UK population is lesbian or gay. London’s population is nearer 10%, thanks to thriving gay scene.

Research carried out by financial services recruiter Joslin Rowe, surveyed 3,676 candidates for City roles and collated information on sexuality for diversity monitoring purposes over the last two years.

Two years ago, 5.9% of respondents anonymously identified themselves as gay or lesbian, but this had risen to 8.2% in the last twelve months as legislative changes and a diversity drive in the financial services industry encouraged more applicants.

These figures indicate that out of the 900,000 people working in banking, finance, and insurance in London, 73,800 are gay or lesbian.

Tara Ricks, Managing Director of Joslin Rowe Associates said: ‘Traditionally the City was perceived as white, heterosexual and male – which put off many gay and lesbian applicants.”

“As a result, the proportion of gay and lesbian workers was far below the national average ten years ago – but it was extremely rare for firms to monitor their own performance in this area so it is difficult to benchmark quite how bad the situation was. Times have changed and diversity is now at the centre of recruitment and human resources policy.”

“The City knows it must attract the best talent from all walks of life. Many firms now actively target gay undergraduates, for example, something that was not the case five or ten years ago. The trend has now seen City firms grow the proportion of their staff who are gay – up to 8.2% of the workforce and overtaking the current national average of 5.9%.”

‘All the major investment banks now have gay networking groups and large sponsorship deals at gay events across the City . Across the industry, organisations such as Out in the City, the Interbank Gay and Lesbian Network and City Pink (which targets women only) provide opportunities for gay and lesbian employees to meet and mix. None of this existed five years ago. What’s more, investment banks now come top of Stonewall’s Corporate Equality Index as the best place to work for homosexual employees. Indeed, nine of the Top 25 organisations in the country are City firms .’

Although the City has narrowed the gap in the last four years, it still has some way to go.

There are 16,000 fewer gay or lesbian employees in the industry compared to the mix in London’s general population.

Furthermore, the extent to which people are ‘out’ in their firms is far smaller than the number who privately acknowledge that they are homosexual.

Arguably, City workers are more likely to keep their own counsel than those in other industries like the media with a traditionally more open attitude. This is particularly so for women. In Joslin Rowe’s research, women in the City were far less likely to identify themselves (even anonymously) than men as homosexual.

Tara Ricks said: ‘The City has made huge strides in recent years, but is still a challenging and competitive place to work. The reluctance of women to come out as lesbians possibly reflects the fact that women already feel they have to fight hard to maintain equality with men.’

‘Of course there is no reason why people should disclose their sexuality at work – it is irrelevant to their ability to do the job. In an ideal world we wouldn’t be counting anyone. But these are not exercises designed to label people. They have been created as positive tools to measure and encourage progress – rather than relying on mere compliance to drive change.’

This story was first published by