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LGBT+ careers: tips and resources

Looking for LGBT+-friendly employers

Same but different

Keep in mind that a gay man, a lesbian woman, a bisexual person, and a trans person may well have very different experiences of the same organisation. When researching an employer, try to find evidence that's relevant to your specific interests or concerns.

Policies

Look out for signs that the employer has good policies and clear statements about equality, e.g. by researching what they say on their website and in any recruitment materials. If in doubt, contact the HR department to ask. N.B. It's worth taking a look at any equal opportunities policy that you find. When was it last updated? Does the language used (e.g. 'sexual orientation', 'gender identity') reflect good practice? What evidence can you find about how the policy is implemented on a day-to-day basis?

Awards

Organisations like the charity Stonewall and the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI) have various awards schemes which offer external recognition of how LGB&T-friendly a workplace is. In particular, the Stonewall Top 100 Employers scheme has become very successful in recent years, attracting hundreds of applications from a wide range of employment sectors.

Staff groups

Lots of organisations have LGB&T staff networks or groups, with responsibilities on a spectrum from organising periodic social events to major involvement in institutional policy-making and everything in between. The existence of a group can indicate how open and inclusive a workplace is, but it's probably useful to check whether the group is officially recognised/supported by the employer.

Networking

The best way to find out what life is like in a particular organisation is to speak to someone who works there. To do this, you can make use of your own contacts and networking resources like GradLink and LinkedIn. And you can see if there are any named contacts, e.g. the organisers of the staff network, whom you might be able to approach in confidence.

Finding jobs

  • Stonewall publishes an annual lesbian, gay, and bisexual careers guide for graduates, called Starting Out. All of the organisations listed in the guide are members of the charity's Diversity Champions programme, i.e. they choose to work with Stonewall on ensuring that their LGBT+ employees are treated equally.
  • Diversity jobs an online job listing which, in their own words, 'connects people to employers who place high importance on a mixed staff population'.
  • Diversity Careers Show a one-day recruitment fair, including workshops and advice, giving you the chance to interact with diversity-minded employers.

If you think you've been discriminated against

  • If you think that an employer has acted inappropriately or unlawfully, then in the first instance you can get in touch with the Careers Service to discuss it, in confidence, with a careers adviser.
  • The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has some online guidance on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and links to further resources.

Further support within Cambridge