Diversity, Equality & Inclusion
The Equality Act 2010 identifies the following nine characteristics as protected within the law: age, disability, gender reassignment/identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex or sexual orientation. Under The Equality Act jobseekers and employees who belong to one or more of the protected characteristics should not be discriminated against. Discrimination occurs when you are treated less favourably because of your protected characteristics.
The term “equal opportunities” as detailed in the Equality Act upholds the idea that all workers within an organisation should be entitled to and have access to all of the organisations facilities at every stage of employment, including the pre-employment phase.
This means every individual should have:
- An equal chance to apply and be selected for posts pre-employment
- An equal chance to be trained and promoted while employed with the organisation
- An equal chance to have their employment terminated equally and fairly
To find out more information about disclosure and your rights visit the TARGET jobs equality and diversity pages.
Click the headings below to find information and resources covering each area.
Whilst this page gives general advice it may not answer your specific concerns. If you have any concerns or questions about your protected characteristics, job applications or employment then please book a careers guidance appointment. You can also continue to access 1:1 careers guidance, the careers clinic, workshops, employer events and more for up to 2 years after you graduate.
Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form
When you apply for a job, you may be asked to complete an equal opportunities monitoring form, which is separate to the rest of your application. This is not seen by the recruitment panel and will not have an impact on the rest of your application. Once an appointment has been made, the data will be used solely by HR to make appropriate changes to the recruitment process to try to ensure more applications from underrepresented groups are received in the future.
How do I find inclusive employers?
Diversity and Inclusion is improving across organisations, but the level of inclusion does vary between industries. If you’re concerned about diversity and inclusion within an organisation then a tip when applying for roles is to look out for companies who have an Equal Opportunity Statement on their website or during their recruitment process. This shows they have made a commitment to improving the diversity within their organisation.
The statements will usually say something similar to “we welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief”.
Inclusive Recruitment Agencies
The following below links will take you to inclusive recruitment agencies for all protected characteristics;
Please note: We do not endorse any of the organisations these pages are linked to. They are here for your information only.
Opportunity Funding for Interviews
If you have an interview coming for a graduate job, you may be eligible for financial support from the University of Lincoln’s Opportunity fund. The funding can be put towards additional costs such as travel, accommodation and interview clothes. To find out more and check your eligibility visit the webpage here.
The definition of a mature student is anyone who was aged over 21 when they enrolled on an undergraduate degree or over 25 years of age when they enrolled on a post-graduate degree, but did you know approximately half of UK students are between 21 and 24, 39% are between 25 to 39, and 12% are over 40?
At the University of Lincoln we recognise that different age groups may feel like they are likely to experience different barriers.
There is no age limit to graduate schemes. Mature graduates with relevant qualifications can offer valuable experience gained from working in different fields. It could be age discrimination if you were denied a place on a graduate scheme due to your age.
Graduate schemes are highly structured training programs, often with rotational placements. They benefit those who aren’t sure what they want to do after university by giving a varied experience. This does not mean you cannot apply for a graduate scheme if you already have years of experience. However, if you have work experience in the same industry you are studying within you may be encouraged to look for positions for experienced hires. Start by researching the companies that you are interested in applying to and seeing what they have to offer.
You do not need to disclose your age on your CV or application. This is because your age is not an indicator of how well you can do your job. If you are concerned about dates on your CV then you can consider;
- Summarising your early career
- Focusing your CV on your most recent career
- Starting your CV at a point in time that you feel is relevant to the role
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to access 1:1 support with your CV and applications.
The definition of a carer is anyone, of any age, who looks after a family member, partner or friend due to their illness, disability, addiction or mental health.
If your caring responsibilities mean you would benefit from flexible working you can visit ACAS for information on requesting flexible working and your rights.
Carers First Lincolnshire offer support to those with caring responsibilities who are seeking employment. See an advice video below from Carers First.
The Care Leaver Covenant is a promise made by private, public and voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25. Taking a look at their Signatories and live projects may give you an idea of inclusive employers who understand your circumstance.
Below are also two organisations who offer specialist support to Care Leavers:
Become offer care leavers support with finding and keeping a job.
Learning and Work run three programmes to support care leavers moving towards and in to work.
Disability, Long-term Medical Conditions & Mental Health
Click here to watch our webinar on disclosing a disability and things to consider.
Disability Confident Employers
Disability Confident is a government initiative encouraging employers to think differently about disability. It is voluntary for the employers and has three different levels and each level requires different commitments from the employer.
Follow this link to view a list of employers who have signed up to become Disability Confident.
Access to Work
Access to Work is support from the government for if you have a disability, or a physical or mental health conditions that makes it hard for you to do your job. If the adjustments you need to put you on a level playing field aren’t covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.
You’ll be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the work place. To find out more click this link.
There are also a number of organisations who offer job boards and support to disabled students and graduates.
- Business Disability Forum is an employers’ organisation with over 400 members, working closely with government and other stakeholders, sharing best practice to make it easier to employ disabled people.
- Disability confident aim to successfully employ and retain disabled people and those with health conditions whenever they can. They offer an interview to all disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the role they have applied for.
- Disability Jobsite is developing a variety of resources and networks to enhance opportunities for employment in the UK’s disabled community.
- Disability Rights UK provide advice on a range of disability issues, including careers. Offer internships and voluntary work.
- EmployAbility is a not-for-profit organisation which provides advice for students and graduates with disabilities. Employ-Ability also runs a wide range of internships and graduate schemes on behalf of many employers in a range of areas.
- Even Break is the UK’s most accessible jobs board, connecting disabled talent with inclusive companies.
- MyPlus Student Club share graduate job listings and resources for advice and support during the recruitment process.
- Scope works with graduate recruiters to help students and graduates with disabilities to find placements or places on graduate schemes.
- The Ability People is an inclusive recruitment agency, co -founded by Paralympian Liz Johnson who in swimming earned bronze, silver and gold across her career.
- The Shaw Trust provides training and support to help people with all kinds of disabilities find employment
- Young Disabled People’s Employment Portal signposts young people and professionals who support them to advice and ideas to help young disabled people successfully navigate the transition to work.
Is there specialist support for my disability?
We hope that the above information has provided you with relevant information. However if you are looking for support more catered to your needs the following resources provide specialist information according to disability:
Dyslexia and Dyspraxia
British Dyslexia Association has a specific section of their website geared to applying for work. See advice about neurodivergency below from Exceptional Individuals.
ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
AADD-UK is a site for and by adults with ADHD and has a dedicated section to workplace issues. See advice about neurodivergency below from Exceptional Individuals.
Asperger’s Syndrome and autistic spectrum disorders
- The National Autistic Society includes useful resources on looking for work and guides for employers.
- Exceptional Individuals offer employment support to individuals with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and Autism. See their advice video below.
Crohns & Colitis
- Crohns& Colitus UK includes an employment guide for those in or looking for work.
- Epilepsy Action– introduction to epilepsy and working in the UK.
- Deaf Unity runs a graduate support programme in London.
- DeafPlus offers an employment and training service and the site has a useful list of links.
- Blindin Business helps blind and partially sighted people in to work.
The NUS offer a detailed guide on employability for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and graduates – take a look here.
There are also a number of organisations who work to increase diversity representation in the workplace.
- Bright Network is a partner with over 300 employers, everything they do is free to their members and diversity is critical to their mission of helping the brightest talent get ahead in their careers.
- Ethnic Jobsite are a recruitment agency who have been serving the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community for a decade.
- Rare Recruitment are leaders in diversity graduate recruitment.
- Inclusive Graduates is a jobs board connecting undergraduates and professionals from underrepresented groups across the UK.
- SEO London prepare students and graduated from ethic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success through career and interview training.
- WCan is a social enterprise dedicated to personal and profession development for black women.
- Windsor Fellowship offer a variety of BAME Scholarships ranging from college to graduate level.
Industry Specific Initiatives
Many industries and organisations advertise initiatives to attract candidates from BAME backgrounds. Take a look at some of the schemes we’ve found below;
Charity and Public Sector
- CharityWorks have a taster programme designed to give talented BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students and recent graduates a top-class development experience to prepare them to launch a career in the non-profit sector alongside a fast-track to the Charityworks graduate programme.
- Civil Service offer a Summer Diversity Internship programme offering talented undergraduates and graduates a work placement in a government department. It can also Fast Pass you to the Civil Service Fast Stream.
Creative Industry, including journalism and publishing
- Creative Access offer a jobs board, training and support to candidate and are working towards a day when Britain’s society is truly reflected in the creative industries.
- Harper Collins work closely with Creative Access to offer a 12 month rotational traineeships to BAME candidates.
- Screen Skills is the industry led body for the screen industries who provide insight, career development and other opportunities to grow and sustain an inclusive workforce
- The Scheme is a six month traineeship at Penguin Random House for candidates from BAME or low socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Aspiring Solicitors are increasing diversity throughout the legal profession.
- Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division (EMLD) supports and promotes solicitors and their allies through career enhancing events, information and networking opportunities.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers provide support and promotes higher achievements in Education and Engineering particularly among students and professionals from ethnic minority backgrounds.
- BBSTEM is a hub for inclusive employers and diverse talent in Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics and related fields.
Stonewall campaigns for the equality of LGBTQ+ people across Britain. They also maintain a list of top 100 inclusive employers.
As the long-running provider of the largest LGBT+ careers fair in the UK, National Student Pride have launches an early careers newsletter, Leadership+.
Leadership+ is a series of personal, intimate interviews with LGBT+ industry leaders about the career paths that got them to the place they’re in today, and their current roles in the businesses many students are looking to applying to.
Although catered for LGBT+ students, this newsletter is an important read for everyone looking ahead to their careers, and also features the relevant company’s job opportunities at the end of each interview.
You can sign up to receive your copy now by clicking here.
Disclosure and Discrimination in the Application Process
The Equality Act 2010 provides the right to not be directly or indirectly discriminated against.
You are not legally required to disclose your protected characteristics to an employer.
If you feel you have been discriminated against during the recruitment process the following websites might be of help:
We are proud to announce our Next Generation Inclusive University partnership with EmployAbility. This partnership enhances our drive to support our students with mental health conditions, neurodiversity and other disabilities, to ensure they get the careers they deserve. EmployAbility can provide you with individualised advice and support about adjustments for recruitment and the workplace, information about your rights, and support you with your application. The EmployAbility team will also advocate for you with an employer to ensure you receive the adjustments you need, taking any stress and anxiety out of the process. If you haven’t already registered with EmployAbility, you can do so here to access free support and advice. Catch up on our recent EmployAbility workshop about when, why, and how to talk to an employer about disability here. You may also be interested in our Steep Hill Careers Podcast series created and produced by the Careers & Employability team exploring different challenges students may face throughout their career planning. Topics include Application Overwhelm, Dealing with Rejection, Telling an employer about a disability or health condition and Mental Health in the workplace The podcast features students, university staff and alumni as guests. You can listen to the podcast series on Spotify here, or by searching Steep Hill Careers wherever you get your podcasts. If you need further support, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Next Generation Inclusive University partnership
Steep Hill Careers
Breaking Barriers On Demand
Catch up on our Breaking Barriers events with our On Demand videos. These sessions, from our advisor team, external speakers, and graduate employers, all focus on helping students navigate potential barriers they feel they may encounter when they enter the world of work.
We are proud to announce our Next Generation Inclusive University partnership with EmployAbility. This partnership enhances our drive to support our students with mental health conditions, neurodiversity and other disabilities, to ensure they get the careers they deserve.
EmployAbility can provide you with individualised advice and support about adjustments for recruitment and the workplace, information about your rights, and support you with your application. The EmployAbility team will also advocate for you with an employer to ensure you receive the adjustments you need, taking any stress and anxiety out of the process.
If you haven’t already registered with EmployAbility, you can do so here to access free support and advice.
Catch up on our recent EmployAbility workshop about when, why, and how to talk to an employer about disability here.
You may also be interested in our Steep Hill Careers Podcast series created and produced by the Careers & Employability team exploring different challenges students may face throughout their career planning.
Topics include Application Overwhelm, Dealing with Rejection, Telling an employer about a disability or health condition and Mental Health in the workplace
The podcast features students, university staff and alumni as guests.
You can listen to the podcast series on Spotify here, or by searching Steep Hill Careers wherever you get your podcasts.
If you need further support, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.