Oona King

I’ve often had a chance to reflect on the lack of diversity around me, not least during eight years as MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, sitting in Parliament surrounded by mostly white, middle-class men. But it was in a remote African village that I realised how ‘different’ I was. I arrived with a dozen MPs, and greeted the reception party. The chiefs and their entourage shook hands until they came to me – they assumed I was a strange type of Sherpa and handed me luggage to carry.

Whether you’re an African chief, a captain of industry, or Jamal Bloggs, it’s easy to typecast people. We make assumptions – especially in the workplace – about who is the ‘right type of person’ for the job. As a result many groups are under-represented or excluded.

Published in Diversity
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