Equality, diversity and your career
Find out about the information and support available on common equality and diversity issues you may face when career planning and job searching.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Your background is an important part of who you are and can impact on your career planning in a number of ways.
For example, you might be concerned that your non-traditional qualifications won't be recognised by employers or that as a mature student considering a career change, you will have difficulty entering a new profession. You may be concerned about disclosing a long-term illness, disability or your sexuality to recruiters, or want to find out how to ensure you have the best chance to show your abilities and be treated fairly.
The information given in these pages is designed to help you feel more confident in yourself and to empower you to present your background to employers with confidence. It also gives information on your rights to equality.
Equality, diversity and your career pages
These pages have advice and resources for specific groups:
Malcom Forbes said that "diversity is the art of thinking independently together".
Organisations can’t thrive and grow if everyone thinks and behaves in the same way. Having a diverse workforce with people from different racial, educational and social backgrounds opens up a wealth of responsibility. Diversity is a broad term and captures people with differences and this can be age, sexuality, disability, religion, gender and much more.
Your diversity is one of your strengths and the following information can help you to understand your strengths and harness these to inform your job search and plan your career.
Equality and your career
The Equality Act 2010 protects jobseekers and employees from discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal daily activities’.
It is unlawful for employers to discriminate any person covered by the protected characteristics listed above.
This includes discrimination in:
- application forms and interviews
- aptitude or proficiency tests
- job offers, including terms of employment & pay
- promotion, transfer and training opportunities
- work-related benefits such as access to recreation or refreshment facilities
- dismissal or redundancy
- discipline and grievances
Identifying diversity-friendly employers
Many employers demonstrate their commitment to having a diverse workforce in a number of ways:
- Look out for a company's equal opportunities policy and for any employee support networks that may exist.
- Some employers run insight events or work experience schemes aimed at under-represented groups in the professions.
- Some companies may have a diversity champion such as Stonewall.
Careers Service support
We acknowledge that these characteristics may still cause students and graduates some concern when career planning and job searching. The Careers Service can provide information and advice on common equality and diversity issues you may face, including understanding your rights, marketing yourself, disclosure and targeting employers.
You can discuss any equality and diversity issues related to your career planning in depth with a Careers Adviser during a careers appointment. These appointments always take place in a consultation room and give you privacy.
We also offer additional support for disabled students. Find out more
We advertise opportunities on MyFuture that are specifically for students and graduates who are from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds. You can limit your search for these by choosing equality and diversity as the type of opportunity in MyFuture.
Equality and diversity Careers blogs
You may also find it helpful to look at the advice on our blog, Careers Perspectives – search using keywords such as disability or gender. Here you will find some great advice, hints and tips on many equality and diversity issues. We also have some alumni case studies talking about their career journeys.
Other careers resources
There are a variety of resources on MyFuture. Go to the resources tab and choose the equality and diversity topic from the menu on the right-hand side.
Wider university support
The University's Student Services Centre is available to support and advise prospective and existing students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties. Current students can log queries by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, you can phone 01225 385538, or pop into the Student Services Centre in 4 West, open Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm.
Further information is on the Disability Service site.
Staff supporting disabled students
If you are a member of staff you can access the MyPlus Toolkit for supporting disabled students.
If you are a member of the Placement Tutors Forum Moodle, then you can find the toolkit under the Careers section.
If you do not have access to the Moodle, you can contact Melanie Wortham for more information.