360 Diversity Reacts to Sexist Remarks by the Prime Minister
360 diversity fears that sexist remarks made by the UK’s Prime Minister shows not only a disrespect to women but also a disregard for the Equality Act 2010
360 diversity fears that sexist remarks made by the UK’s Prime Minister shows not only a disrespect to women but also a disregard for the Equality Act 2010. Despite the introduction of this Act last year, it is apparent that the mindset of some people can take time to change. These inappropriate comments combined with tax cuts, which have affected women in particular, means the coalition government has a lot of work to do to win back the support of female voters.
The Prime Minister has made controversial off-the-cuff remarks, more recently acknowledging the fact that he knew one of his back-benchers, Nadine Dorries, must be “extremely frustrated”. Despite being a light-hearted remark, this is not the kind of comment expected from a Prime Minister and goes nowhere in promoting anti-discriminatory practice. David Cameron has held his hands up and made an apology for this inappropriate comment, along with another he made a while ago when he told Labour MP Angela Eagle, to “calm down, dear” amidst a debate.
Stuart Bray, Business Development Manager of 360 diversity, adds “We are now a year on from when the Equality Act was launched, and this kind of gaff demonstrates that people still have not reprogrammed themselves to prevent discriminatory remarks slipping off the tongue.”
“When apologising, did nobody point out to Mr Cameron that making stereotypical statements about men was also a mistake? We have to move on from making assumptions about anyone, and start treating people like individuals. Mr Cameron demonstrated that discrimination can come from anyone at any time irrespective of position, culture or community, and that he is guilty as an individual for making those remarks.”
The Equality Act was brought about to help companies manage equality and diversity in the workplace and promote equal opportunities for all in work and in society. Its purpose is to eradicate unfair treatment of people based on protected characteristics. Do the comments made by the Prime Minister belittling women show a disregard for this act?
Stuart Bray continues “It is a tough time for everyone at the moment, women have been hit the hardest by the cuts, and Mr Cameron needs to be mindful that speaking without thinking will influence the voters’ minds, and perhaps another female Prime Minister may be on the cards at the next general election.”
It would seem that a better example could be set by those passing the laws to encourage companies across the UK to each implement and monitor an effective equality and diversity policy. In this way, awareness of the protected characteristics would be heightened and prejudiced and discrimination reduced.
360 diversity is an online diversity forum and information resource that is available to private, public and third sector employers throughout the UK. It was developed to help organisations fulfil their equality and diversity requirements and carry out diversity training, particularly in response to the Equality Act 2010. For further information visit the 360 diversity website at www.360diversity.co.uk.
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- Business Development Manager
- 360 Diversity
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