LGBTQ+ careers support and advice

Hello, and happy Pride! Here at the Careers Service, we’d like to kickstart the University celebrations by giving you resources designed specifically to support our LGBTQ+ students and grads, from uni onwards!

It’s 2022, and employers (especially those huge corporations) love to shout their allyship from the rooftops – so what does it actually mean to be job seeking as an LGBTQ+ candidate, and how do you navigate it?

There are a few research methods at your disposal. Start by taking a look at the support offered to you at the Careers Service: a good first step is our guidance document on Equality and Diversity resources.

 

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Researching employers

It’s a good idea to do research into companies you’re thinking of applying to. You might want to start out by searching for roles using LGBTQ+-friendly job sites:

  • LGBTjobs hosts vacancies with employers who have committed to developing a culture of inclusion;
  • Vercida is a diversity and inclusion consultancy company and also has a jobs board;
  • Proud Employers is a branch of the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, where employers can advertise opportunities while supporting the charity;
  • You could also take a look for particular employers using the Stonewall Top Employers 2022 list;
    • This list is compiled using the Workplace Equality Index, a voluntary exercise enabling employers to show their commitment to workplace inclusion. To make it onto the list, they are assessed across nine fields, covering topics like anti-discrimination and trans-inclusion policies, as well as ‘supply chains’, which encourages employers to affect change outside their workplace by ensuring existing suppliers are committed to inclusion, too;
  • Already have an employer in mind, but can’t find them on the list? Type the company name and ‘LGBTQ champion’ or ‘LGBTQ staff network group’ into Google.

Researching employers before you apply is helpful because you deserve to feel valued and included at work. It is worth keeping in mind that these research methods might bias toward larger employers, so if you have a smaller business in sight you could look for LGBTQ+ champions on LinkedIn, to network and ask about company culture.

Your career journey should always hold you at the centre, and whether you decide to be ‘out’ at work or not, you will feel best when you’re in a supportive environment.

Whichever way you want to start your career journey is the right way – and the Careers Service is here to help. Plus, for a space full of support and stories that were created with LGBTQ+ young people for LGBTQ+ young people, check out Stonewall Young Futures

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Informing work

Speaking of being ‘out’ at work, here’s a note on disclosure.

Many recruitment processes involve asking for information on your sexual orientation upon application. This information is generally used to measure how diverse the candidate pool/employee body of an organisation is. Here are two important things to remember:

  1. The information legally cannot be used to discriminate against you.
  2. You do not have to disclose this information if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

Having said this, coming out at work can mean you feel valued for who you are, and can be supported by other colleagues also in the LGBTQ+ community. According to Stonewall, it can also make you more productive; and you can make deeper friendships and more trusting working relationships. It’s important to know that you are legally protected against discrimination at work by the Equalities Act 2010.

 

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Still at university?

Okay, that’s enough research! If you’re still a student, let us focus on the time you have at uni:

Support

Like always, the Careers Service offers lots of careers support, no matter what you’re working with. We can help with things like: researching inclusive employers, questions on disclosing and applying, discussions around your current studies; and loads of general support on CVs and applicationsfinding internships, and so on. Jump onto Live Chat if you have any questions you would like help with.

You can also take a look at Stonewall’s list of LGBT-inclusive organisations you should know about for specialised support, ranging from social wellbeing to trans support.

Throughout the year, we share students’ stories here on the blog: keep an eye out next week to hear from EACH (Educational Action Challenging Homophobia) and one of their University of Bristol interns, as well as a PLUS achiever who used her work as a freelance drag performer at the Queenshilling towards completing the Award.

We’d love to help you feel empowered and fulfilled in your journey after uni – but right now, take some time to celebrate yourself and others, and enjoy your Pride!

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Want to write a blog for us? If you are a current Bristol student or a Bristol graduate, we want to hear from you! Whether it is about how you have developed your employability skills during your time at uni or to tell us all about where you are post-graduation, write a blog for us and help to inspire your fellow students. Contact careers-comms@bristol.ac.uk for more information.