In today’s equality and diversity news: cultural and religious stigma around mental health, women delaying careers to have children, and why universities need to support academics trying to move away from the 24×7 work culture.
A new social enterprise, Talking from the Heart, aimed to address cultural and religious stigma around mental health, was launched recently. Huma Yusuf, writing for the Guardian, shares stories of young British Asians who have struggled with negative perceptions of mental illness in their community. Selina, who was diagnosed with depression and psychosis, said, “Faith is important in times of need, but these things weren’t helping. It gave some of my family comfort, but really I needed medical intervention to get better.”
According to a study by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, women are delaying their careers to have children. The proportion of women born between 1985 and 1994 in the workplace is lower than those born 10 years earlier. Professor Alan Manning, who conducted the study, believes that there may be deeper cultural reasons behind this trend.
And finally, we came across a brilliant article by Eleanor Highwood, professor at Reading University – I’m an academic, but I do other things – on the pressure on academics to work long hours. Eleanor writes, “Maintaining the eight days a week culture is a threat to the diversity of our academic environment. Diversity has been shown to lead to more productive and creative teams, and thus will be invaluable as we face the multiple challenges ahead for the academic sector.” Eleanor says she is meeting more and more academics who don’t buy into the 24×7 culture and she argues it’s time universities started supporting them.