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Everything you need to know about the Employers on Equality series

By Rachael Richardson-Bullock, on 20 May 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by George Potts, Events Manager at UCL Careers.

One male and two female students huddled at a desk looking down and reading something on the desk.

UCL Careers’ Events Manager, George Potts, recently chatted to us about our new employer series; Employers on Equality. 

Q1) Hi George, can you give me a few more details about the upcoming UCL Careers: Employers on Equality series? 

This is a new series of employer-led panel discussions that has been designed to give UCL students the opportunity to hear from employers and ask them questions on how they are improving equality, diversity and inclusion in their recruitment practices and in the workplace.  

Each day, across four days, we will be focusing on a specific area where positive action is being taken: 

  • 1 June,  1pm – 2pm       Race Equality 
  • 2 June,  12 pm– 1pm     Gender & Orientation Equality 
  • 3 June,  1pm – 2pm       Physical & Mental Health Diversity 
  • 4 June,  1pm – 2pm       Social Mobility  

We will be inviting employers from a range of industries to talk about the methods and strategies currently being used by their organisation to improve the diversity of their workforce and the experience of their staff. We have also invited the employers to bring along someone from within their organisation who can tell us more, from the perspective of their own lived experience. We hope the range of insights of our panellists will make for a really engaging discussion and Q&A for any UCL students and recent graduates interested to hear from employers on the subject of equality. 

Q2) I can hear that you are really passionate about all of the upcoming events. Why did you want to create the Employers on Equality series in particular? 

Although we often touch upon diversity and inclusion as a Q&A topic at employer events, across all our programmes, we felt it was important to give this subject matter its own spotlight.  

Employers have a lot to share with us on the work they’re doing in these areas – which is really inspiring, and we wanted to create a space where our students feel that they can ask their questions. 

Q3) Which themes or topics do you anticipate will be covered during the series of events? 

We will certainly be looking to cover: 

  • Equal opportunity in recruitment 
  • Pathways to progression / removing barriers 
  • Embracing diversity (being valued) in organisational culture 
  • Help and support / measures and what is meant by ‘reasonable adjustments 
  • Networks and peer support 
  • Tackling micro-aggressions and stamping out prejudice 

Q4) What can students expect to gain from attending any (or even all) of the series events? 

We hope that attendees will gain insight and awareness of why employers value diversity and the measures they take to nurture this, and that they leave the sessions with a deeper understanding of how to seek support in a professional / recruitment setting and the confidence to speak about diversity to employers. 

These sessions are also a great opportunity to network with employers who actively recruit UCL graduates and to engage with professionals from a range of industries with strong EDI values. 

Q5Wow, I can’t wait to get involved myself. How exactly can students ask questions and join in the discussion? 

For those attending who feel they’d rather not ask their questions during the session, we’ve set up a Google form for each event, where questions can be logged anonymouslyPlease see event listings for the links to these. We will also be including an opportunity for networking, after the Q&A, where attendees can choose to speak to employers in smaller groups about any specific questions they have.  

In the interests of creating a safe space for open conversation, we will not be recording these events. 

Q6) This sounds like a really fantastic opportunity to gain insight, awareness and confidence across the entire equalities sphere. When do bookings open? 

Bookings are open now and you can book your place via our website. 

Registration is essential to attend.  

We look forward to welcoming all students and recent graduates to attend, regardless of background – equality is a conversation for everyone.   

Careers Support for Students from Diverse Backgrounds

By skye.aitken, on 19 January 2021

Read time: 6 minutes

Written by Lee Pike, Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

Why diversity matters

It is widely recognised that having a diverse workforce helps organisations operate more efficiently and creatively. A diverse workforce is one that includes people from different backgrounds, cultures, personalities and viewpoints.  In addition, organisations are increasingly becoming more global so diversity in terms of understanding different cultures, different ways of working and being relatable to clients from different backgrounds is a definite advantage.  

What does this mean for recruitment?

Recruiters are increasingly looking at ways to increase recruitment of underrepresented groups including women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), LGBTQIA+ people, those with a visible or non-visible disability, and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In the ISE Student Recruitment Survey 2020 by the Institute of Student Employers, they found that 62% of 179 ISE employer members said they had ‘formal targets around attraction of different cohorts of candidates’ and 82% of respondents said they were taking actions to maximise the diversity of candidates they attract. However, this article from the Institute of Student Employers recognises that employers still have some way to go between their intentions and their actions.

What does this mean for you?

With issues surrounding diversity in the workplace becoming more prominent, there’s a growing number of opportunities available for those from a diverse background. Here’s a list of some current initiatives open to applicants from a range of diverse backgrounds:

  1. 100BlackInterns

100blackinterns offer internships to Black students from all academic backgrounds looking to get into investment banking with over 200 employers almost exclusively in London.  As with the Goldman Sachs above, although closed for 2020 entry, it’s certainly worth exploring for applying in 2021.

  1. Blind In Business

The Blind in Business Employment Service is designed to help blind and partially sighted students and graduates prepare for and find jobs within their chosen careers.  They provide support, advice and training, including how to talk to an employer about your visual impairment.

  1. Creative Access

Creative Access was set up to offer opportunities in the creative industries for young people from underrepresented groups. They work with global brands such as Apple, Tate, ITV and National Theatre.  A number of opportunities are advertised on the site.  A few of the current opportunities include:

  • Producer or Studio Researcher or Production Co-ordinator, CPL Productions (closing date 15 Jan 2021);
  • Young Board Members, Creative UK (closing date 18 Jan 2021); and
  • Collaborative Doctoral Awards, National Theatre (closing date 5 Feb 2021).

Visit the Creative Access Opportunities webpage for the full list.

  1. EmployAbility 

EmployAbility is a career management resource for disabled students and graduate. They run first year, internship, and graduate programmes, as well as vacation schemes and training contract opportunities, with inclusive employer partners.

Visit the EmployAbility Students and Universities webpage for a full list of opportunities.

  1. Exceptional Individuals

Exceptional Individuals provides recruitment and employment support to individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism. Their resources include job boards advertising inclusive companies’ jobs specifically for neurodivergent people.

  1. Goldman Sachs Student Possibility Programme

Goldman Sachs Student Possibility Programme is an interactive multi-day program for students from low socio-economic backgrounds*.  The programme is open to students from all degree backgrounds and is designed to introduce students to the financial world through hands on experience. Although closed for 2020 entry, it’s certainly worth exploring for applying in 2021.

*Candidates who identify as first generation in their family to go to university, attended a state school (non-fee paying), or were eligible for free school meals.

  1. SEO London

If you are from a low socio-economic background or an underrepresented ethnicity group, SEO London‘s SEO Careers initiative prepares you for career success in the sectors of corporate law, consulting, engineering and technology.

SEO London partner with over 50 sponsor firms across eight leading industries and have supported several thousand alumni into internships and graduate roles since 2000. You can find help with preparing for interviews, as well as securing internships or a full-time job.  They also provide training on CVs, psychometric tests, commercial awareness, tech skills, presentation skills, assessment centres and interviews.

Find out more about SEO Careers on the SEO London webpage.

How can UCL Careers help?

Careers Extra

UCL Careers Extra is a programme of additional activities and support for UK undergraduate students (home fee status) from any of the following groups who are currently studying at UCL:

  • Neither parent went to university and you went to a UK state school
  • Care leaver
  • Carer
  • Disabled
  • Household income below £25,000 (as declared to Student Finance England)
  • Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed Black African/White or Black Caribbean/White
  • Received an Access UCL offer

Students who sign up to UCL Careers Extra will be added to a circulation list for targeted employer events and programmes. They can also apply for bursaries to help cover the cost of undertaking internships and can access preferential booking for some UCL Careers events, longer careers appointments and extra careers events that are exclusive to UCL Careers Extra students.

Support for students with disabilities/long-term health conditions

If you have a disability or long-term health condition you can do the following:

  • Request an extended one to one appointment with a careers consultant.
  • Request adjustments to enable you to access a one to one careers appointment (which all currently take place via MS Teams).
  • Request reasonable adjustments for an event or workshop you will be attending (please email at least 48 hours in advance).
  • Receive careers information for students with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Where can I find out more?

UCL Careers has gathered information about a variety of organisations working to support different groups – you can find this in the Diversity and Inclusion section of our website.

Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority

This UCL Careers Extra web page for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students provides numerous careers-related resources relevant to students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Find information about sector-specific resources, non-sector specific resources, students’ union UCL clubs and societies and BAME mentoring.

Disability and Health Conditions

This resource provides careers-related information for students with disabilities on a wide range of topics including

  • Organisations providing advice and support;
  • Disability positive employers;
  • Legal rights;
  • Neurodiversity and autism;
  • Job listings;
  • Internships,
  • Work experience and graduate schemes;
  • Finding work opportunities through UCL
  • Funding

Other sections on the UCL Careers Disability webpage include discussing disabilities or long-term health conditions with employers; list of appropriate blogs; and, disability support at UCL.  UCL works in partnership with MyPlus, giving you access to MyPlus Students’ Club.

Careers Extra Resources

Visit the UCL Careers Extra webpage to find out more.

Next steps

Step 1

Why not set aside some time within the next week or so to take a look at the wealth of resources available highlighted in this blog.  It’s impossible to cover everything in this article so some exploration of the links and resources mentioned will help you, whether that’s understanding your rights or finding organisations that proactively engage with, support and assist students from diverse backgrounds.

Step 2

This article ‘The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace’ on getsling.com focuses on why diversity in the workplace is essential for success. It provides 13 reasons why diversity is important to a company and helps you to understand the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Step 3

If you’re a UK (home fee status) student and meet the criteria described for Careers Extra, why not register and book an extended 1-to-1 with a careers consultant?

Whatever your background and wherever you’re from, UCL Careers is here to help you on your career journey.

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

By skye.aitken, on 1 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

By uczjsdd, on 21 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

By UCL Careers, on 9 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


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

By UCL Careers, on 6 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


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

By UCL Careers, on 3 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


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

By UCL Careers, on 23 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!

By UCL Careers, on 13 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

By UCL Careers, on 8 February 2017

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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


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.


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/