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Out&Proud Research Event. What We Learnt And How We Can All Be Better Allies

Skye AAitken1 November 2019

An event stage with a screen set up

Written by Joe O’Brien, Marketing Communications Assistant, UCL Careers.

On Friday 11th October, UCL Careers ventured east to Clifford Chance’s Canary Wharf office. We were attending a special panel event devised to launch the Out&Proud research from UK Trendence Research, a leading student-focused research firm. Poignantly released 50 years after the Stonewall riots, the research was 9 months in the making and aimed to delve deep into the experiences of LGBT+ students and graduates in higher education. The research saw 4100 young people take part from 122 universities across the UK, with 91% aged 18-29. Of respondents, 19% were graduates now in employment.

The research itself is fascinating and we won’t attempt to fit all of its findings into one blog post so what we’d recommend is heading over to the UK Trendence Research website and requesting access to the report. We promise it is a truly valuable report which sadly includes some shocking and eye-opening statistics. From a career standpoint, the report highlighted how those who are open about their sexuality in the workplace are 12% more likely to report an improvement in wellbeing. Here are some of the more damning findings from the report:

  • 1 in 3 LGBT+ students have experienced hate crime and/or sexual assault
  • LGBT+ students 38% more likely to report depression
  • 6% more likely to report a decline in wellbeing when starting university

We were treated to two fantastic panels; firstly, a panel made up of allies from organisations who sponsored the research and secondly, from a selection of LGBT+ figures from a broad range of careers and experiences. Allyship – providing support as an ally even if you do not identify as LGBT+, was a recurring theme throughout the day, with a number of speakers emphasising that the fight for equality and respect for LGBT+ people is a responsibility that shouldn’t rest solely on their shoulders.

Four panelists sitting on stage with a screen behind them

Tips for being an ally:

  • Tanya Compas, an award-winning youth worker and LGBT+ Case Worker, explained how even something as simple as including your pronouns in your email signature can help to create an inclusive environment.
  • Tiernan Brady, Global Head of Inclusion for Clifford Chance, spoke about how progress is not linear and by no means inevitable. We can’t assume it’s only the older generations who discriminate against LGBT+ individuals, in fact recent Galop research into attitudes in our society has shown that the age group most likely to think of LGBT+ people as “immoral” are aged 18-24. He also implored allies to remain vocal supporters and not to assume the fight is over. As Tiernan put it, “if we take our foot off the gas, we stop and then we lose the progress we have fought for”.

Another common theme throughout the day was the importance of intersectionality. Zee, a final year undergraduate student from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), who was on the second panel explained how “what’s diverse for a gay white man is not diverse for a black trans woman.” There are a number of examples in the Out&Proud research which hone in on this, with an LGBT+ Muslim student explaining how coming from a heteronormative background, steeped in religion and culture, leaves them living a double life. For this reason, it’s important to remember the diverse backgrounds and added difficulties that can arise from this conflict.

Rhammel Afflick, Director of Communications for Pride in London, told us his coming out story – writing an article for Huffington Post in which he came out publicly, what Rhammel found most surprising wasn’t that he received homophobic abuse, he unfortunately expected that. It was the fact he received racist abuse despite the article focusing solely on his sexual identity as a bisexual man. This is a great example of the importance intersectionality has on LGBT+ issues.

Our 3 actions for you to take from this post:

  1. Read the Out&Proud research and be aware of what your fellow students are going through and struggling with.
  2. Engage with the UCL LGBT+ Student’s Network. It’s a great way to make friends, develop new skills, and it looks great on your CV to be involved in any engaging and proactive society.
  3. Try to reflect and constantly question how inclusive and supportive you are being as a student, colleague, family member, or friend. Like Tiernan said, progress is not inevitable and it takes all of us to make sure we keep moving.

 

LGBTQ+ Careers – SOAS Careers Service Panel Discussion

SophiaDonaldson21 May 2018

LGBTQ+ rainbow flagEarlier this month SOAS Careers Service ran a discussion panel on LGBTQ+ experiences in the workplace. Sitting on the panel were LGBTQ+ professionals employed in a range of sectors; we heard from two management consultants, an artist, a charity worker, a higher education professional, a digital marketer, and a jobseeker. Three of the panellists had past experience in teaching, one had spent time in recruitment. The panel kindly shared a variety of thought-provoking views and personal experiences. The main messages I took away were:

All parts of our identity can shape our career

Many of the speakers felt being a member of the LGBTQ+ community had influenced their career decisions. For some that meant being subconsciously drawn to open, inclusive, and innovative environments. For others, after experiencing workplaces that weren’t diversity-friendly, their move to open and inclusive work environments was far more deliberate. Some said although their gender/sexual identity hadn’t determined the sector they’d chosen, it did influence the companies they targeted within that sector, and the types of initiatives they became involved with at work e.g. LGBTQ+ groups, and equality and diversity recruitment initiatives.

Research was quoted showing LGBTQ+ people are more attracted to altruistic careers than heterosexual people, and the panel’s charity worker agreed their sexuality had influenced their choice; they felt they wanted to help society in part to prove their worth and overcome the stigma associated with being LGBTQ+.

The drag artist was pretty sure their LGBTQ+ identity may have influenced their career choice….and there are specific arts funds that as an LGBTQ+ person they can apply to for their work.

Some workplaces are more accepting than others Thumbs up featuring the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag.

A few speakers shared experiences of working in less tolerant workplaces and countries, and the negative impacts they had. There was a feeling shared by three panellists that in the workplace, just as in the rest of society, non-binary identities such as pansexuality, bisexuality, and gender fluidity are currently less well understood and accepted than some of the other LGBTQ+ identities. With this feeling came a call for people to make fewer assumptions about colleagues’ identities.

One speaker emphasised the importance of being out and proud in shaping less open workplaces to be more accepting. But if you’re concerned about joining an already diverse and open employer, each year Stonewall compiles a list of 100 organisations doing great work for LGBTQ+ acceptance, which is a good place to start. Here is 2018’s (huzzah for UCL at number 98). Also try speaking to people working in your target sectors and organisations. This sort of ‘informational interview’ can provide a better idea of whether a role and organisation is for you in every way, including the LGBTQ+ angle.

The drag artist worked in a pretty accepting environment…and they emphasised the difference between working in an accepting but predominately straight environment, and queer-run, queer-owned businesses which are leading the way in acceptance, and whose policies they hope will eventually be adopted by other employers.

The decision to be out at work is yours and yours alone

Although all speakers were generally “out”, the panel reflected a range of experiences of being open about their sexual and gender identity at work. One panellist had not been out when working in less tolerant countries, another has been closeted as a teacher, which is a decision they now regret. The benefits of being out at work were discussed: the fact that it encourages other people to be out and confident, that it encourages straight colleagues to be more aware and accepting, and that the energy it takes to hide a major part of yourself every day at work could be better spent on doing and enjoying your actual work.

After much deliberation, and asking tutors and family for advice, one panellist made a conscious decision to be out when working as a school teacher. They wanted to provide a proud LGBTQ+ role model to young people, which had been lacking when they were at school. Although it was terrifying at first, the projected confidence with which they were out led pupils to not see it as a big deal.

The drag artist was pretty comfortable being out at work…but in past 9-5 office environments thought their career wasn’t helped by the fact they were, in their words, “really queer”. So they assured the audience that no one person should feel they have to be out and leading the way, you have to do what’s right for you. The panel agreed it’s an individual decision people need to make for themselves, and that personal safety and comfort must be considered.

To hear more LGBTQ+ workplace experiences, check out Stonewall’s LGBT voices, which forms part of their mega helpful Starting Out Guide. UCL HR also have links to useful resources, including UCL’s LGBT+ Volunteering Fair. And for inspiration, check out The OUTstanding lists: LGBT leaders and allies today.

 

 

 

 

Asking for Reasonable Adjustments for a Health Condition or Disability

Joe SSprecher9 May 2018

Disclosing your health condition consists of two parts of a conversation: the disclosure itself and the request for support. Often, they take place at the same time, so it’s good to be prepared for a conversation regarding your needs. By ‘need,’ we mean what reasonable adjustments employers can make for you.

In case you haven’t read previous blogs, reasonable adjustments are provided by employers to mitigate any barriers in employment you might face as a result of your health condition.

What are reasonable adjustments? ACAS says, “Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people are not disadvantaged in the workplace. They should also make sure policies and practices do not put disabled people at a disadvantage.” In simple terms, reasonable adjustments are put in place, so that you can perform the role just as effectively as anyone else.

The word reasonable, as in ‘reasonable adjustments’ is interesting here, as what is reasonable in one environment, may be different in another.

So, what can you to prepare yourself for this aspect of the conversation?

What might you struggle with?

Think about the research you’ve done into the role you are applying to. If there are aspects of the environment or of the role which may adversely impact your health, e.g. working long hours, then write this down.

Reflect and research

Prioritise each one – are there any issues that you are minor? Are there any that really trouble you?

There are two factors here: what you will do to manage your condition at work, and what your employer can do to support you. Whilst the emphasis in this blog is more about the latter, how you manage yourself currently can also help you.

For example, you may have observed facets of your condition that have affected your performance in your qualification, and consequently you have adapted the way that you work or sought support. Knowing what works or doesn’t work provides really useful knowledge to feed into the conversation. Sometimes, however, you need to be in the actual job and environment to know how you can manage your condition, which is when reaching out may be worthwhile.

Against each of the areas of work you have written down that concern you, add a potential solution, using your experience as above, or researching what has helped others (see Resources section).

How will I say it?

Having prioritised your areas of concern, draw the employer’s attention to your main concerns, but offer one or two solutions for each. The conversation should be fluid and also positively reinforce your strengths, and what you love about the role. Emphasise how much more effective you’ll be with this support.

Your research will help you stay in control of the conversation however as it is a conversation, the employer may have their own suggestions, using prior knowledge.

Pre-empting questions or concerns

It’s worth spending some time thinking about any questions the employer might have. They may be concerned about the cost involved in supporting you with specialist equipment but some reasonable adjustments, e.g. adjusting working hours, may be of very little cost. Remind them also of the Access to Work scheme, which may also provide funding for equipment.

Some of your approach to this conversation is about confidence and attitude. Often, we feel guilty about asking for things before we’ve even started working and before the employer has seen what we are capable of. However, you are your best expert. The key is to reach a solution that means you will perform at your best, without compromising your health.

At UCL Careers, we’re more than happy to talk through disclosure with you, whether you’re confused, have made up your mind or just want to do a simple role play! If you are an Undergraduate, please access UCL Careers Extra appointments; if you’re a postgraduate, feel free to book any UCL Careers one-to-one appointment and we’ll give you a steer.

Article written by Careers Consultant, Carla King: carla.king@ucl.ac.uk

Resources:

Dyslexia related reasonable adjustments

Advice and guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Reasonable adjustments examples from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Advice from the UK Government

Advice for employers

Telling Future Employers about Non-Visible Health Conditions: The Disclosure Conversation

Joe SSprecher6 May 2018

Having the disclosure conversation can be nerve-wracking but if you’re prepared, you will have the extra confidence and control you need, ensuring the focus is on the impact and your needs.

Before preparing, ask yourself the following:

  • Do I have to tell my employer? (see previous blog)
  • Why do I want to tell them? (is this out of obligation or will be helpful to you?)
  • How do I feel about telling them? (whatever emotional response this elicited is very normal)

Having a plan

Having a disclosure plan for the conversation helps you keep the things you want the employer to concentrate on. There is also a bit of reflection and research you can do to support your plan.

When will I tell the employer?

This could be at application stage, at interview, before a test, after the job offer is made, when you’re in the workplace. When you disclose is entirely dependent on how comfortable you feel disclosing at any of these stages. It may be worth listing pros and cons to help you decide the timing.

Where will I tell them?

Think about what the conversation might look like. Will you speak to someone on the phone or will you do this in person? If the conversation is not face-to-face, how might this change what you want to say? E.g. how much time will you have with them?

What will they say?

Pre-empt questions or concerns. Think about how you might deal with a reaction. Two big questions they will likely have are:

  • How will this affect your work?
  • What support will you need?

How will they react?

There are two things to remember here – they are human and may react in a way you didn’t expect, and also that you have had time to absorb this information for a while, however they might need time to take it all in. Equally, of course, they may not react at all and take the information in their stride.

What will I say?

As the mainstay of the conversation, keep it positive. Remind them of what you do really well and, concisely, tell them about how you currently manage your condition at university. Highlight areas of work that might impact your condition, then focus on what support you can both put into place to help you do your job the most effectively. Think about what your employer might do to help you – are there any physical changes to your desk? Is there something about your working pattern that might help? Think about ways of working you can bring from university or what you found helped you. You can make clear whether or not this would be open information or if you would like things kept private and confidential. Remember, this is not only about what you can do, but also that employers have a duty of care to take away barriers in the workplace that exist because of your condition. They do this by providing reasonable adjustments (more in the final blog).

How will I say it?

Keep the conversation flowing and factual. Focus only on aspects that are relevant to the role.

How will I ask for support?

Once the information part of the conversation is over, if you feel this is the right time, you can move on to your needs: things that will help you integrate and help you to do your job effectively. This is the research bit – once you’ve identified areas in which you’ll need support, do some research on the sorts of things others have found very useful.

Use your resources

At UCL Careers, we’re more than happy to talk through disclosure with you, whether you’re confused, have made up your mind or just want to do a simple role play! If you are an Undergraduate, please access UCL Careers Extra appointments; if you’re a postgraduate, feel free to book any UCL Careers one-to-one appointment and we’ll give you a steer.

Article written by Careers Consultant, Carla King: carla.king@ucl.ac.uk

Resources:

Equality Act & Human Rights Commission Contact: 0808 800 0082

Disability confident employers registered with the Department for Work and Pensions

Workplace adjustments: Equality Law

Deciding Whether to Disclose Your Non-Visible Health Condition to a Future Employer

Joe SSprecher3 May 2018

The thought of disclosing your health condition or disability to someone you don’t know can seem quite daunting. ‘Disclosure’ – the very word denotes secrecy, something official.

Man looking at computer screen

The Equality Act 2010 states that in order to be covered by the Act, a health condition must be long-term and substantial, and impact your daily activities. Because of this, the Act covers everything from a reading and learning difficulty to chronic and terminal illness. Generally, there is no legal obligation to disclose your condition to an employer, although there are a few exceptions to this rule.

If you’re unsure whether your condition is covered, or whether you’re obliged to disclose, do some research (see the Resources section below): are you covered under the Act? Do you have to disclose for the role you’re going for? When do you disclose?

Once you’re more informed about where you stand legally, you’re likely to still have some reservations as to what to do next, particularly if your condition may not be immediately obvious. In fact, you may be tempted not to say anything. The following may help you in your decision-making.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably concerned about the consequences of telling an employer about your condition. Essentially, you would be passing sensitive information to someone else. You won’t know how they’ll react, what they’ll do with this information or how they’ll perceive you. It’s completely natural to feel this way. Appreciating that there are employers that don’t deal with disability in the fairest of ways, we also know there are many that do. You’ll have to have some leap of faith in this scenario, however you also have something else on your side: the Equality Act.

Employers have a duty of care to take away barriers in the workplace that exist because of your condition. They do this by providing reasonable adjustments (more in another blog). The Act kicks in from the moment you come into contact with the employer in a recruitment process right through to leaving a job. However, you won’t be covered unless you disclose.

We’ll deal with reasonable adjustment in our final blog, however some reasonable adjustments don’t cost much and make the world of difference in helping you manage your condition in the workplace.

You’re probably concerned about who the employer will tell. If they are a medium or large organisation, and depending on who you are disclosing to, they’re likely to have an HR Manager, who will likely be the first person they’ll inform. The senior manager may also be told. They tend to be the only exceptions. You have the right to ask for confidentiality. This means you can control the flow of information and can tell colleagues if you want to.

Moreover, by telling the employer, you’re taking control of the information they receive about your condition and about the way this impacts you. If your condition worsened or your performance were affected and then you chose to disclose, a later disclosure may damage some of the trust you have worked so hard to build. Transparency with your managers may build trust and creating this partnership can be very enabling.

Woman writing at desk

It’s also natural to worry about how an employer will perceive you when they learn about your condition, particularly if you strongly feel that it does not have a bearing on your capability to do the job. The reality is that if you’ve been offered an interview or receive a job offer, the organisation deems you to have potential to, or already be capable, of performing the role.

You may also have concerns about being treated differently because of your condition. Let’s turn this around slightly by using an example. If you are dyslexic and would perform effectively in a psychometric test by being given more time, then this would be crucial to your succeeding to the next stage of the recruitment process. In this case, it would be about removing obstacles to ensure you are on a level playing field with other candidates. So, it’s not about giving you an extra advantage; it’s actually about giving you the same opportunity as everyone else.

If you’re apprehensive about particular aspects of doing the job, we’ll look at preparing the disclosure conversation in the next blog.

I’d like to leave you with these questions, which I hope will help you hone your decision:

  • If you tell your employer about your condition, what is the worst that can happen? What will you gain/ lose? How would this affect you?
  • What would happen if you didn’t tell them? How would this affect you?
  • What is holding you back from telling them? What would make you feel more comfortable?

Whatever your decision is right now, build in some flexibility as you may want to disclose in the future. At UCL Careers, we’re more than happy to talk through disclosure with you, whether you’re confused, have made up your mind or just want to do a simple role play! If you are an Undergraduate, please access UCL Careers Extra appointments; if you’re a postgraduate, feel free to book any UCL Careers one-to-one appointment and we’ll give you a steer.

This is the part one of series of three articles regarding disclosure. The next two deal with the disclosure conversation and requesting reasonable adjustments.

Article written by Careers Consultant, Carla King: carla.king@ucl.ac.uk

Resources:

Video on the benefits of disclosing

Video on the Pros & Cons of disclosing

Equality Act & Human Rights Commission Contact: 0808 800 0082

Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) helpline Contact: 0300 123 1100

Charities & NGOs Link Up: Meet the Employers – JAN Trust

Chloe JAckroyd23 January 2018

As part of Charities and NGOs themed week, we asked to share what it’s like to work in a small charity and tips for getting into the sector:

Working in a small charity, as opposed to a large one, means that you can make a difference and you really get to see the impact of your work. For example, our interns take part in real grassroots work with vulnerable women, experience that they would have little or no opportunity to gain elsewhere.

Another benefit of working in a small charity as opposed to a large one is that you get a real feel of what it is like to run a charity and the hard work that is involved. The team has to pull together and support one another; this is why your role can be so broad. When it comes to working in a small charity, hard work and teamwork are key but the rewards are worth it.

Our interns develop a wide array of skills including using social media professionally. Communication skills are enhanced through building rapport with a wide range of people including policy makers as well as grassroots women.

Our top tips for those wishing to pursue a career in the charity sector:

  1. Be open minded – you may be exposed to sensitive information.
  2. Commitment and enthusiasm – this is what keeps charities going!
  3. Be professional and passionate about what you do.
  4. Progression – be willing to expand your knowledge and develop your skills.
  5. Expect the unexpected! Particularly with grassroots work, no day is a typical day.

Meet JAN Trust at Charities & NGOs Link Up: Meet the Employers on Thursday 1st February alongside other charities including Friends of the Earth, Think Ahead, The Challenge, Macmillan Cancer Support and Green Shoots Foundation.

 

Global Careers Series Collaboration – next up North America!

Chloe JAckroyd13 February 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 12.27.12Global Careers Series came to UCL at the end of January with an event focusing on the Middle East.

The Global Careers Series is a collaboration across five University of London colleges, including UCL, King’s, SOAS, Goldsmiths and City University, and is designed to educate and inspire students about working in a number of global regions.

We are now just over halfway through the series, and so far we have learnt about working in China, South East Asia and the Middle East. During the Middle East event we heard from a variety of speakers, including UCL alumni, FactSet (a financial data company), and two UCL academics. This diverse panel offered excellent insights into the benefits and challenges of working in the Middle East whilst answering questions from the student audience.

Next up in the series we will be focusing on North America, and students from UCL are invited to attend this event being held at City University. This promises to be a lively event, with two panel discussions, a keynote speech and a raffle to win a $2,500 mobility grant to participate in Global Experiences’ US program! If you’re interested, please register to attend here [Eventbrite].

To end the series, we will be heading to Goldsmiths University to hear all about working in Western Europe and we look forward to hearing from a variety of speakers there.

For more information about the series, please see Global Careers Series [website].

 

Summer Internship Opportunities Exclusively for UCL Students

Chloe JAckroyd8 February 2017

Blog banner 2


UCL Careers Summer Internship Scheme

We will be advertising paid summer internship opportunities exclusively available for UCL students and graduates to intern at London-based Small – Medium Enterprises (SME).

“I didn’t have any defined expectations, but I really didn’t expect to have such a wonderful time. I was/ am so happy to go in to work every day because I really loved the company atmosphere, and really respected and got on well with my co-workers. I feel like I wasn’t treated like an intern or the youngest member of the team (which I was), but was given responsibilities and respected on an equal footing. I learned a lot of things that I had no real comprehension of before the internship. I genuinely feel like I was helping out as well.”
Vesa Popova – UCL BASc Arts and Sciences – graduating 2018

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In association with Santander Universities, we are providing subsidised funding for internships, paid at the London Living Wage, across our summer scheme.

The subsidized funding will support the training allowance for UCL students or recent graduates to work as interns with small-medium-sized businesses for 6 or 8 weeks full-time during the 2017 summer vacation period (June – September).

Internships will be available in a range of sectors including:

  • Consultancy
  • IT/tech
  • Engineering
  • Arts/Culture
  • Life Sciences/Health
  • Finance
  • Social Sciences/Media

Applicant Eligibility

You will need to be eligible to work in the UK full-time during the internship. If you are on a visa, your visa must cover the full duration of the internship.

Please note: UCL Tier 4 Postgraduate (Taught and Research) students are not permitted to work in excess of 20 hours per week for the full duration of their degree programme. This includes the summer vacation period. UCL is unable to issue a visa for the Summer Internship Programme therefore UCL Tier 4 Postgraduate students are not eligible for this scheme.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are eligible for the scheme and comply with UCL sponsorship duties and visa regulations before submitting an application. It is the responsibility of the business to check their intern’s eligibility to work in the UK taking into account the above regulations.

The Timeline

  • Internships will be advertised on the UCL Talent Bank website from mid-February to Friday 31st March.
  • You will need to submit your CV, and a tailored cover letter online for each application you make.
  • Follow us on social media to hear about each role as it goes live Twitter and Facebook search: UCL Careers
  • Each employer will receive a shortlist of the best applications for their role. They will then invite UCL students and graduates to interview.
  • Prospective interns should know if they have a place on the scheme by mid-May, so please bear this in mind when making vacation plans.
  • Once the employer has made an internship offer and you have accepted that offer, UCL Careers will send both you the intern, and the employer, an agreement letter each to fill in and return to UCL Careers.
  • Funding for the internship will not be released to the organisation until we have these completed letters returned.
  • Internships will commence as follows:
  • 6 weeks starting 12th June and ending 21st July 2017
  • 8 weeks starting 12th June and ending 4th August 2017
  • 6 week starting 10th July and ending 18th August 2017
  • 8 weeks starting 10th July and ending 1st September 2017

Get involved and get that internship!

  • Prepare: Keep an eye out for our CV and cover letter writing workshops at the end of February, as advertised on our Careers Essentials webpage: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/essentials
  • Perfect: When you know which internships you want to apply for, you might want to book in for an Applications Appointment to make sure your application documents are competitive with other applicants’.
  • Apply: Register on our UCL Talent Bank website with an up-to-date CV.

NOTE FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY IN CONTACT WITH A COMPANY ABOUT AN INTERNSHIP:

If you are already in contact with a small-medium-sized company who is hoping to offer a summer internship to you, which would benefit from some financial assistance, please encourage them to contact us by sending an email to Laura: l.radford@ucl.ac.uk

The proposal form we will ask all companies to complete about their vacancy will ask the question of whether they already have a student or graduate in mind to hire. If the company and the internship proposed meet our criteria, the internship will be reserved funding without having to be advertised.

Lastly, if you know of an organisations who you feel would be interested in participating in this scheme, please direct them to further information for employers here: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/careers-employer-engagement/2017/01/09/ucl-careers-summer-internships-scheme/

 

 

Charities & NGOS Week – Pursue a fulfilling career in this sector

Chloe JAckroyd25 January 2017

blog_image_charities_&_ngos
Charities and NGOs Week: 30th January – 2nd February 2017

Though important, there is so much more to working in the charities and NGOs sector than shaking a tin, volunteering or delivering aid to those in need on the frontline.  Many charities and NGOs are run as professional businesses that carry out functions such as research and lobbying, as well as raising and redistributing funds.  In the pursuit of addressing human or environmental needs, the sector can be intensely competitive in terms of attracting media attention, funding and other resources.  Most non-profit organisations rely on paid staff as well as volunteers and the sector attracts intelligent people with a passion for their work.

UCL Careers Charities & NGOs Week 2017 aims to dispel some of the myths that surround working within this sector.  Through a series of four events, this themed week will provide students with an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the diverse range of roles available to them, from campaigning and policy work to international development and disaster relief.  The employer-led insight and applications session will help prepare students to demonstrate their motivation and enthusiasm and ultimately increase their chances of job success.  The final event in the series will provide an excellent opportunity for students to link up with employers, be inspired and pick up some top tips from the experts, who are currently working in the sector.

Charities attending include:

Oxfam
Greenpeace
MacMillan Cancer Support
Save the Children
Sustrans
The Wellcome Trust
Islamic Relief
and more…


For further details about UCL Careers Charities & NGOs Week 2017 including how to book:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/charitiesandngos

 

 

Finding disability-friendly employers

ManpreetDhesi30 June 2015

This article originally appeared on the Reach blog.

Researching employers is a great way to help find out which company would be a good fit for you. Targeted research can reveal employers’ attitudes and their corporate social responsibility aims, helping you to find a supportive environment.

Employer directories and reviews

There are a few employer rating sites around that can help inform you about the company culture.

TARGETjobs’ Inside Buzz covers a limited number of employers but each has a rating based on answers to “How would you describe your firm’s commitment to diversity?”

Glassdoor and The JobCrowd are other such sites. These don’t have a specific rating for diversity information but sometimes equal opportunities issues are discussed in the reviews themselves.

Disability-specific resources

One of the Reach blog’s sponsors, EmployAbility, has worked with many leading blue-chip and public sector organisations, and matches talented students and graduates to these prestigious disability-inclusive employers.

Great with disability has detailed information on how its listed employers approach disability along with case studies from disabled employees.

Business Disability Forum’s list of disability-smart organisations can be downloaded from their website.

Even Break advertises vacancies from employers who value diversity and are serious about looking beyond candidates’ impairments to identify what skills they have to offer.

The employers’ own content

A clear way to see if an employer is disability friendly is if they use the “two ticks” symbol on their website and other materials to show they’re “positive about disabled people”. To get permission to use the symbol the employer needs to fulfill five commitments including guaranteeing an interview for any disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for the job.

Employers who are positive about mental health may also participate in the Mindful Employer charter. This isn’t accredited like the “two ticks” symbol so employers may claim more than they can prove, but it is a pledge showing commitment to being positive about mental health so is useful in showing commitment to working towards best practice for their disabled employees.

Websites, recruitment publications, and annual reports can also tell you a lot about employer attitudes. When doing your research, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do they have specific information on diversity / disabilities in their recruitment information online?
  • Do they include any disabled staff in their employee profiles?
  • What do they say about diversity and inclusion?
  • Do they have a named contact in their HR Department for queries around disabilities / disclosure?
  • Are there networking groups for disabled staff?
  • What kind of language do they use when writing about disability?

Sometimes the messages can be subtle but it all adds up to creating an image of the employer. Being able to speak to individuals you find through employee profiles or named HR contacts will give you an even clearer picture.

Further Reading

The “Disability and Mental Health: Diversity Matters” section of the TARGETjobs website provides further useful tips on this topic…