We’ve signed the Face Equality pledge in support of charity Changing Faces.
The pledge means that we are committed to treating our employees and customers fairly regardless of appearance.
Candice Cross, BT Group Head of Diversity and Inclusive Culture, said: “At BT we believe in and practise Face Equality for everyone interested in or starting a career with us, and for all our employees and customers.
“We all have a right to be treated fairly whatever the appearance of our face or body. That's why we have signed the Face Equality pledge.”
More than 80% of people who have a disfigurement have been abused or harassed in the street and almost half felt vulnerable on public transport, a report published today – Face Equality Day - found.
The Disfigurement In The UK study also found that many people use social media to attack people who look different.
Almost all of the respondents to the survey – 96% of them – have seen a photo, meme or other content on social media that mocked someone’s appearance.
The survey also found that almost half of all respondents had experienced a comment or unpleasantness from a shop assistant.
A significant majority of adults with a disfigurement have avoided applying for a job because they thought their appearance would hinder them at interview and half of all school children who have disfigurement experience discrimination because of it.
On the subject of dating, the report claims that 92% of people with disfigurements who use dating apps or websites have received negative comments or feedback about their appearance.
More than half of the total respondents to the survey said that they had avoided dating or going on a date because of their appearance.
The report was published today to coincide with the UK’s first Face Equality Day. The charity says that “the research highlights how disfigurement has been left behind in British society’s equality stakes.”
Tulsi Vagjiani, a Changing Faces champion who has burn scars, has experienced the abuse.
She said: “For people like me who look different there is never a day off. It’s not like I go ‘oh today, I’m just going to take off my scars’.
“Every time you leave your front door you’re exposed and subjected to people’s stares and comments.”
Dr James Partridge OBE, founder and Chief Executive of Changing Faces, said:
“Changing Faces has been campaigning for fair treatment of people with disfigurements for 25 years.
“Disfigurement in the UK highlights the urgent need to step up the campaign for face equality and turn it into a movement for change.
“Inequality/Injustice should absolutely not be tolerated and every person should be treated equally irrespective of appearance.”
Henrietta Spalding, Head of Advocacy at Changing Faces, said:
“We are asking educationalists, employers, law enforcers and policy makers to realise their legal and civic responsibility to embed face equality in their organisations and to stop appearance-based discrimination.”
The report was published today to coincide with the UK’s first ‘Face Equality Day’. The charity says that “the research highlights how disfigurement has been left behind in British society’s equality stakes.”
Changing Faces is calling on opinion formers in parliament and government, healthcare professionals, the NHS and public bodies, schools and businesses to think differently and create a fair society.
The charity says that “to correct these injustices, it is also essential for everyone to recognise how everyone is a bystander to this inequality and commit to ending it.”