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Equality matters

The University of East London is a diverse institution with a wide range of staff and students from different ethnic origins and backgrounds. At UEL we are extremely proud of our diverse population of students and staff.

Why equality matters

At the Centre for Student Success we value diversity and believe that employers do too. This is evidenced by the number of employers wishing to work with and recruit from the diverse student and graduate pool we have here at UEL.

Here at the Centre for Student Success we also recognise that diversity may present additional challenges to our students and graduates. We've created resources to support you to achieve your full potential by helping you to recognise your strengths and learn how to challenge discrimination if you are confronted by it.

Employers need to understand the needs and demands of all their customer bases. Restricting themselves to only recruiting from a particular age range reduces their opportunity to build awareness of such needs.

Mature graduates often bring with them a much greater breadth of experience, either through previous work experience or personal commitments such as raising a family, than younger graduates. This experience translates into credible evidence of transferable skills. An older workforce is also associated with reduced staff turnover, and lower rates of sickness and absence.

Younger graduates will tend to move jobs more frequently earlier in their career as they find themselves within the labour market. Older graduates are more likely to provide long-term commitment and staff retention is key for most employers.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

Recruiting diversely brings additional expertise and, critically, fresh approaches to an organisation. Employers need to understand the needs and demands of all their customer bases, and recruiting from BAME backgrounds improves their opportunity to build awareness of such needs.

Creating a culture of inclusion within an organisation strengthens both customer confidence and staff confidence in that organisation’s values. Post-recession graduates have indicated a desire to work for organisations with high levels of integrity as opposed to those fixed firmly on commercial profit.

Overall, BAME graduates, tend to have studied subjects that lead to professional qualifications, such as business, computing, accounting, law and engineering, meaning they are more professionally equipped for the workplace than graduates who have studied within purely academic disciplines.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

If you have a criminal conviction you should target companies with good diversity policies. You can find these companies by looking at the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. While these rankings are not specifically based on an organisation’s commitment to recruiting individuals with criminal convictions, they provide a strong indicator of the organisation’s broader approach to recruiting diversely.

Employers are prone to making assumptions based upon their own viewpoint. Try to anticipate their concerns about recruiting someone with a past conviction and have strategies for addressing them. Sell yourself as effectively as possible. Demonstrate in your CV and covering letter that you can do the job and, more specifically, that you want to do the job.

Students with disabilities have managed having a disability in a world where discrimination is still an issue. This often means they have developed strong skills in areas which employers value highly, including problem solving, strategic thinking, tenacity, creativity and negotiation. A diverse workforce bring different life experiences and skills to an organisation.

Recent estimates suggest that over 13.3 million adults in the UK have some form of disability. Many current and potential customers will have a disability, therefore employing a diverse workforce representative of a customer base brings expertise into an organisation and a greater understanding of the marketplace. 

The process of making necessary adjustments for employees with disabilities can generate helpful internal reviews and add skills in the workplace. This results in more flexible working patterns, more effective workplace systems and procedures that benefit all employees.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

Employers need to understand the needs and demands of all their customer bases. Women account for half the population are more commonly control the key budget within families. Recruiting more women into an organisation allows the organization to build greater customer awareness of their key consumers’ needs.

Recruiting more female employees has proved a successful strategy for many organisations seeking to improve customer satisfaction levels. British Gas, for instance, has been celebrated for its commitment to recruiting more female service engineers and its recognition that many female customers would prefer to be visited in their homes by female staff.

Women are increasingly better qualified than their male counterparts accounting for more than half of all university graduates and achieving overall higher grades in their degrees than men.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

Whether or not you choose to disclose your sexual and gender identity in a professional environment is a personal choice. There is no legal obligation to disclose your sexual and gender identity either during the recruitment and selection process or when you are in post, as it has no bearing on your ability to do a particular job. 

At the recruitment and selection stage the employer will only know what you include in your application/ CV or what you say during the interview. It is possible that your sexual or gender identity could be relevant to competency questions asked both on application forms and in interviews. For example, you may have held a position of responsibility within a LGBTQ society either at university or elsewhere. If you wanted to demonstrate these skills without disclosing your sexuality and gender you could say that you were involved in various organisations at university that required fundraising and organising events.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

If you feel you may need your employer to understand how your religion or beliefs impact on your life, particularly your working life, you may find it useful to disclose. For example, if at certain times of the day you require access to a quiet area for prayer you will need to make your employer aware so they're able to cater to your individual needs.

It's useful to think about the level of integration you want to achieve in your workplace. It may be important for you to be able to share details of your personal life, including your religion and beliefs, with colleagues.

If you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action. If you are in employment you should discuss it with your employer directly, preferably through your Human Resources department, who will be able to offer you appropriate support.

Social class, unlike some of the other sections include in this section, is hard to categorise. Traditional distinctions between classes have blurred in the last thirty years or so and activities like attending university, which were once seen as a mainly middle-class pursuit, have been embraced by a much wider student population.

Attempts to financially support students from lower socio-economic backgrounds throughout their educational journey are often based on unreliable indicators such as the student’s postcode. However, securing extra financial support during a degree programme is unlikely to fully address the issues and challenges student/graduates from lower socio-economic classes face when attempting to secure employment.

Look out for any opportunities to develop your social skills while at university, such as getting involved with the Students’ Union, joining clubs and societies or becoming a Student Ambassador. These opportunities are ideal ways of developing confidence in social situations, improving your communication style and developing leadership and team skills. Most importantly these opportunities will allow you to demonstrate to future employers where, when and how you developed the competencies they are looking for. It is these competencies that will mark you out as successful in the world of work, not your accent or background.

Equality Act 2010

Hopefully you will not encounter discrimination within your professional career, both in terms of seeking work and staying in work. However, if you feel you have been discriminated against by your current or potential employer on the grounds of your age you can take action.

In 2010 the Equality Act came into effect replacing and consolidating all existing legislation relating to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion and belief with one all-encompassing act.

For more information, please refer to the full version of the Equality Act 2010.