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Concerned About Its Inclusivity Policy: King’s College London

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King’s College London (KCL), an institution in London, has been forewarned sharply about its internal hiring practices. There are worries that these policies—especially the ones pertaining to inclusivity—may put people in danger of breaching the law.

The demand made by KCL that academics vying for promotions provide evidence of their role in creating an inclusive atmosphere has drawn criticism. According to the guideline, applicants must submit proof of their attempts to foster an atmosphere where coworkers are respected and given every chance to thrive.

The human rights organization Sex Matters is among the critics of the policy who have expressed disapproval, arguing that it unjustly punishes people who hold divergent opinions on sex and gender matters. A KCL employee who is hoping to be promoted, Dr. John Armstrong, claims that his differences with the culture’s views on gender and sex will prevent him from moving up the ladder.

According to Sex Matters, which cites a legal opinion from barrister Akua Reindorf KC, the policy might be illegal discrimination, especially against people who hold gender-critical attitudes. Reindorf raises the possibility that KCL’s EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion) policies will clash with impending legislation pertaining to academic freedom.

The nonprofit demands an urgent examination of KCL’s recruiting and promotion policies and a halt to actions it believes to be discriminatory against employees who have gender-critical opinions.

In response, a KCL representative underlined the school’s dedication to diversity and legal observance. Academic staff members are free to submit supporting documentation for their applications in line with predetermined standards, they said.

KCL has already been under fire before for how it handles gender-related concerns. The institution came under fire last year for supposedly implying that backing the LGBT nonprofit Stonewall could help with publicity. In defense of its position, KCL emphasized the value of academic freedom and backed community members’ right to free speech.

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