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Everything you need to know about the Employers on Equality series

Rachael Richardson-Bullock20 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.   

The Benefits of Growing Your Professional Network

Joe O'Brien10 July 2020

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Glyn Jones, Careers Consultant at UCL Careers

We’ve previously shared a blog post offering useful tips on how to grow your online network, however today we take a step back and ask, why are we recommending you cast out your social net and start connecting with people?

The ideal scenario is that you reach out to someone working for your dream organisation, you attach your CV and hey presto, they offer you a job. Unfortunately, real life is rarely this straightforward.

We certainly encourage you to make speculative approaches for graduate employment or work experience, however if this is the only benefit you see to reaching out to those working in your sectors of interest, you may find this to be a long, unrewarding process.

So here are some other benefits that come from reaching out and building your professional networks, which you may not have thought of.

  1. Gain insights into your industry of interest

Through speaking with those working in a sector of interest, you’ll be able to gain insights about that industry, how things work, its trends and challenges. This provides you with knowledge of the sector that is both insightful and current. To have this information incorporated into your applications or to refer to this in an interview could truly set you apart from other candidates.

  1. Find out if a sector really interests you

You can read job profiles on graduate job sites such as Prospects or look at career sections on employer websites to get an idea of what a role involves. But if you want detailed information about the day to day work, there’s nothing better than speaking with someone who actually does that job. By having conversations with people working in the industry, you’ll be able to ask questions that you wouldn’t normally find answers to. Through finding out about work cultures and expectations, you will gain a greater understanding of the industry as a whole or specific employers within the sector. You can then use this information to decide if you fit in to this environment.

  1. Learn about different career pathways

Everyone has a different career pathway; some people might have gained experience through an internship while others choose postgraduate study or taking a sideways move and changing industries. By hearing from others who have gone through this process, you may come across pathways that you otherwise never would have considered. You may learn about a specific internships or work experience programme that you didn’t even know existed. It might be that you hear about an organisation’s work and find that it aligns with your own aspirations. Learning about other people’s career journeys might just be the help you need to start your own.

  1. Enhance your future job opportunities

By growing your network, you’re making links with potential future colleagues or employers. If you’re focused on working in a particular industry you’d be surprised how you may come across the same individuals multiple times. Your main motivation for pursuing online networking could be seeking a full time job or gaining some work experience, but even if this does not come to fruition immediately, you never know when these contacts may prove useful. Even if opportunities don’t come directly from those you’ve contacted, they may know someone else who has an opportunity that may be of interest. So by making a good impression and growing these networks you’re putting yourself in a good position, which could mean opportunities coming your way in the future.

These are some of the different benefits that can come from networking with those working in your field of interest or potential job sectors. If you’d like to discuss how to go about identifying useful people or how to go about reaching out to these individuals, please do book a one-to-one appointment with UCL Careers.