Careers Network Equality and Diversity

The University of Birmingham is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive learning and working environment, where equality is promoted, diversity is valued and discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated.

Careers Network works across the University of Birmingham to develop students’ employability and personal skills, while enabling fairer access to a wide range of graduate career options. As part of the commitment to equality, we have a number of services which directly support students who may need more specific advice and guidance.

Social Mobility

Social mobility centres on the concept that everyone, regardless of their socio-economic background should be able to thrive and do well. This means that the same career opportunities should be open to you regardless of your background. Careers Network social mobility initiatives are designed to support students who are recipients of the Chamberlain Award or other financial scholarships and students who came into the University through Access to Birmingham (A2B), Routes to the Professions (R2P) or a contextual offer scheme.

Read below for further information on social mobility advice, support and case studies:

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss issues related to your background and how this may affect your career prospects, you can access support and advice from the Widening Participation Employability Officer.

Careers Network offers appointments and guidance on every aspect of your career journey from choosing your perfect industry and discovering your strengths to finding work experience and writing a CV. All appointments can be booked through Careers Connect and you can visit the Careers Network website for more information on all available services.

The following resources may also be of use to you:

Access to your Career

Careers Network offers workshops and activities throughout the year designed to help widening participation students recognise their strengths, build their skills and access their career of choice

The Big IDEA

The big ‘IDEA’ stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Accessibility. It is a hub for the diversity industry, forward-thinking employers, and job seekers

Social Mobility Foundation

A charity working to improve the social mobility of young people from low income backgrounds

The Sutton Trust

A foundation that seeks to improve social mobility through programmes, research and policy centred on education

Employers, work experience and funding

Employers

Many graduate employers are now choosing to record and monitor the social background of applicants in order to identify the social diversity of their workforce. The following resources provide information on employers who are dedicated to improving social mobility:

Social mobility employer index

A joint initiative between the Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission to identify the Top 50 UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace

Social mobility compact

A number of employers across the UK have signed up to Social Mobility Business Compact, which asks employers to open their doors to people from all walks of life, regardless of their background.

Work experience and funding

Many employers across a range of industries offer students or recent graduates from lower income backgrounds the opportunity to gain internships or work experience. Additionally Careers Network also has a number of initiatives for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds:

Gateway work experience bursary

Students from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds may be eligible to apply for up to £2000 to undertake low or unpaid work experience

Gateway internships

Work experience opportunities sourced by the University of Birmingham Careers Network and available for certain priority groups only (including Chamberlain awardees, A2B and R2P)

The Impact Challenge

A week-long work experience programme that matches University of Birmingham students with local organisations to solve their business needs and make a positive impact within the community

Aspiring Solicitors

Aspiring Solicitors is committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession by providing free access, opportunity and assistance to students from underrepresented groups

Civil Service

The Civil Service has two internship programmes for first year students and students in their final two years who are from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds

CRCC Asia Scholarship

Financial support to enable students from low income backgrounds to participate in the China Internship Programme

Creative Diversity Network

The creative diversity network shares, discusses and profiles the work that UK broadcasters are doing to increase diversity in the sector

Discuss

Discuss is an exclusive training programme, sponsored by five top City firms and run by Rare, for students from lower socioeconomic status groups who are interested in City law

Equip: Equality in Publishing

Equality in Publishing has been established to promote equality across UK publishing, bookselling and agenting, by driving forward change and increasing access to opportunities within the industry.

Legal Access Schemes

A database of legal access schemes and diversity projects

Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme

Nine month paid placements designed to open parliament to people who have the skills, passion and potential to work there but who don’t have access to the traditional routes in.

Programmes, projects and events

Careers Network has a number of established programmes and projects designed to improve social mobility. Events will also be posted on this site throughout the year.

Access to your Career (A2C)

Careers Network offers workshops, alumni events and employer activities throughout the year designed to help widening participation students recognise their strengths, build their skills and access their career of choice

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey. Many mentors are UoB alumni and some were graduates of A2B and the university’s social mobility programmes.

The Personal Skills Award (PSA)

The PSA is the university’s employability award programme. It is free to complete, and open to all undergraduate students in any year of study, from any background and with any level of ability. There are several different pathways to the programme, allowing our diverse student population to undertake the award in a way which suits their interests; learning style; and personal circumstance

Case studies

  1. Emma James and Simrita Kaur – Deutsche Bank, Human Resource Analysts
  2. Laura Kendrick – Winner of Herbert Smith Freehills ‘Two days, two weeks, two cities’ competition
  3. PSA: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/employability/psa/benefits/soy2015videos.aspx#winner
  4. Bursaries

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5. Gateway Internships

 

Diversity and Inclusion

The Equality Act 2010 protects jobseekers and employers from discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

We understand that these characteristics may still cause students and graduates some concern when career planning and job seeking. In this section you will find information, advice and links to organisations and employers seeking to create a more diverse labour market.

Age

Under the Equality Act 2010 unless an employer can 'objectively justify' a reason it is illegal for them to discriminate against you on the grounds of age. The law protects you not only when you are in employment but also during the application process. For this reason, an employer cannot ask for your date of birth on any job application.

 

Support and advice

If you are a mature student or graduate and would like to discuss age related employability issues or talk through concerns you may have you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey

The Age and Employment Network

Promotes and effective labour market for people in their mid to later life

AGE UK

Provides information on key topics including looking for work and education and training. There is also a free advice line you can call

Age Action Alliance

Includes a members' list of organisations that can support older workers

Diversity Matters - Age

Advice on disclosing your age and the practices of ageism

Disability

The Equality Act 2010 protects those with a physical or mental health disability against discrimination when applying for jobs and less favourable treatment when in employment. Employers also have a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to reduce or remove obstacles disabled people may face in the workplace and need to ensure that disabled employees are able to carry out their duties without being disadvantaged compared to others.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to your disability you can book an appointment with a careers consultant.

Careers Network is committed to constantly reviewing and working to adapt all parts of our service to promote equality of access.

Areas we are currently working on are:

  • Recordings: From the beginning of 2017-18 academic year, Careers Network will seek to make many of its workshops and activities available via the Careers Courses and Resources page on Canvas.
  • Going virtualVirtual Internships have joined the Virtual Careers Fairs in providing a means for students to access employers remotely.
  • Careers Fairs: We know that Careers Fairs can still be daunting places and if you do want to avoid the crowds Careers Network suggests going at the following times:

Students can also seek advice from external organisations including My Plus Students Club and Target Jobs.

Sharing personal information with an employer

For many individuals, telling a future employer that you have a disability or long-term health condition is one of the hardest parts of applying for a job and preparing for an interview. However, not informing them may seriously jeopardise your ability to demonstrate your talent and potential for the job. Even if you are successful in getting your dream role without being open about your disability without the support you require you may find every day a struggle.

Employers primarily want to know whether or not you have a disability so that they can put the adjustments you require in place. They do this in order that you can demonstrate your ability during the recruitment process.

In the main body of the application form, you are likely to be asked: Please inform us if you have any specific requirements during the recruitment process. The information you provide here will be used to implement the adjustments and support you require.

This is separate to the equal opportunities form where you are asked more directly: do you consider yourself to have a disability? This information is separate to the rest of your application and will only be used once recruitment has finished.

For further information on sharing personal information, please see the My Plus Student Club website.

Employers, work experience and bursaries

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to students with disabilities and long term health issues:

Gateway work experience bursary

Students with a disability or long term health issue may be eligible to apply for up to £2000 to undertake low or unpaid work experience

Gateway internships

Work experience opportunities sourced by the University of Birmingham Careers Network and available for certain priority groups only (including students with disabilities)

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey. Careers Network has successfully matched a number of students with disabilities to mentors.

Autistica

Internships for autistic graduates at Deutsche Bank

Change 100

Change100 brings together the UK’s top employers and talented disabled students and graduates to offer three months of paid work experience

DAMSA

The Student Guild’s Disability and Mental Health Association (DAMSA) represents students affected by disability, chronic illness, impairments, learning difficulties & mental health conditions

Deaf Fellowship

The fellowship promote equal access and improve the attainment of D/deaf and hard of hearing people, through the sustained engagement of educational institutions and the wider community including enterpreneurialism

Disability Confident

A voluntary scheme for employers who are committed to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to their workplace

Disability Services

For information on wider support services available at the University of Birmingham including information on Disabled Students Allowance

EmployAbility

A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting students and graduates with all disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions, into employment

My plus students club

My Plus provides recruitment advice and careers information for students and graduates with a disability or long-term health condition. The aim is to bridge the gap between disability-confident employers and students, and answer all of the questions that students have as they apply for jobs and prepare for interviews

Case Studies

  1. Add Change 100 interns
  2. N:\Careers\TEAMS\WORK EXPERIENCE - SEW\Gateway Programme\2015-2016\Case Studies\VoluntEars_Karolina Pakenaite.docx

Gender

The Equality Act 2010 states that it is illegal for an employer to treat you unfairly because of your sex. Where men and women are working for the same employer, they are entitled to the same terms of employment, provided they are doing similar work, or work of equal value. The Act is applicable to men and women.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to gender or talk through concerns you may have you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Diversity Matters - Gender

Information from TARGET Jobs on your rights

Fawcett Society

Charity for women's equality and rights in work and in public life

Employers and work experience

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to students. Increasingly employers are seeking to engage men in careers where they are underrepresented as well as ensuring equality for women in the workplace:

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey. Many mentors are UoB alumni.

Fresh Look Inside Investment Banking

Insight event for female undergraduates in any discipline

Frontline

Frontline’s diversity insight days aim to address underrepresentation in the social work industry. There is currently a shortage of male social workers

Women’s Association

The Student Guild’s Women’s Association provides a safe space for women and non-binary students, for socials and campaigning on issues that we face at university and in wider society

Women in Business

Opportunity to talk to and spend time with women currently working for PWC

Women in Engineering Society

Lists current and upcoming employment events

Women in Finance Society

The society aims to inspire and empower students to seek a career in the world of finance

Race

Under the Equality Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your race or ethnicity. The Act protects you from direct or indirect discrimination and from harassment or victimization on the basis of your race.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to race or ethnicity or talk through concerns you may have you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Diversity Matters - Race

Information from TARGET Jobs on your rights

Race for Opportunity

Business in the Community’s race equality campaign, which proactively supports and challenges employers to work proactively on race

Employers, work experience and bursaries

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to students from ethnic minority backgrounds:

Gateway work experience bursary

Students from ethnic minority backgrounds may be eligible to apply for up to £2000 to undertake low or unpaid work experience

Gateway internships

Work experience opportunities sourced by the University of Birmingham Careers Network and available for certain priority groups only (including students from ethnic minority backgrounds)

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey. [Students and mentors can indicate whether they would like to be paired with someone from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background

BME Student Ambassadors

The BME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Project helps to support the success and positive experience of BME students in higher education and improve retention

BEMA

The Black and Ethnic Minority Students’ Association represents BME students on their welfare, social and political needs through the Guild, and campaigns on their behalf towards these needs

Civil Service

The Civil Service has internship programmes for first year students and students in their final two years who are from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds and/or from an ethnic minority

Creative Access

Creative Access is working to change the face of the creative industries, founded with the single purpose of providing young BAME people, paid training opportunities in creative companies and supporting them into full time employment

Rare Recruitment

Rare works to help brilliant people from diverse backgrounds fulfil their promise through our one on one career guidance and development programmes

SEO London

SEO London helps to prepare talented students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success

The Windsor Fellowship

The Windsor Fellowship delivers leadership development programmes to young people from diverse backgrounds

Case studies

  1. N:\Careers\WIDENING PARTICIPATION\Projects and Programmes\WP Programme\Communications\Case studies

Religion or belief

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you because of your religion or belief system. The law protects not only those who adhere to a recognised religion but also those who hold philosophical opinions including atheism, paficism and veganism.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to religion or belief you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Diversity Matters - Religion

Advice from TARGET Jobs on gauging how culturally aware and religiously inclusive an employer may be

Employers and work experience

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to students:

Mentoring

Mentoring is a unique opportunity to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and knowledge that can help you to progress in your career journey. Alumni come from a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds

3 Faiths Forum

3FF builds good relations between people of all faiths and beliefs. They offer an internship programme and run education, engagement and action programmes that bring diverse communities together

CTC Summer Internship

A four week programme run by the Contextual Theology Centre offering training in church-based community organising, theological reflection and spiritual exploration

Sexual orientation

It is illegal for an employer to directly or indirectly discriminate against you on the basis of your sexual orientation throughout the application process as well as when you are in the workplace.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to your sexual orientation you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Diversity Matters - Sexual Orientation

Find out more about your rights from TARGET Jobs

LGBT Foundation

A source of news, support, information and advice for lesbian, gay and bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities.

Stonewall

A campaign and support group for all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.

Employers and work experience

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to LGBT students:

LGBT Mentoring scheme

This scheme matches students with employers across a range of occupations in Birmingham to get advice on how to be happy and fulfilled as an out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer employee

DiversCity in Law

Event for LGBT students interested in a career as a lawyer in the City

Inside & Out

Investment banking internship open to 1st and 2nd year university LGBT students

Proud Employers

Proud Employers is a jobsite that caters exclusively for LGBT people and their allies. It aims to help candidates find roles with organisations committed to diversity and inclusion for their employees

Starting out guide

Tips and advice from our team on job hunting and best practice once you’ve got the job, alongside insights into different employment sectors and details of the most LGBT-friendly employers in Britain

Trans*

The Equality Act protects transgender, transsexual and transvestite people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation when applying for jobs and when in the workplace. Anyone who decides to, starts to or has completed the process of changing their gender is protected under the Act. So too are those who have decided to live as another gender without undergoing any medical procedure.

Support and advice

If you would like to discuss employability issues related to gender you can book an appointment with a careers consultant. The following organisations may also be able to provide support and advice:

Diversity Matters - Trans issues

Information from TARGET Jobs on your rights in the workplace and disclosing your Trans* status to an employer

Stonewall

A campaign group supporting the Trans* community

Trans*formation

Employment focused organisation undertaking activities to end discrimination and promote the welfare of Trans* and non-binary people in the UK

Employers and work experience

The following work experience opportunities, employers and organisations may be of interest to LGBT students:

LGBT Mentoring scheme

This scheme matches students with employers across a range of occupations in Birmingham to get advice on how to be happy and fulfilled as an out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer employee

DiversCity in Law

Event for LGBT students interested in a career as a lawyer in the City

Inside & Out

Investment banking internship open to 1st and 2nd year university LGBT students

Proud Employers

Proud Employers is a jobsite that caters exclusively for LGBT people and their allies. It aims to help candidates find roles with organisations committed to diversity and inclusion for their employees

Starting out guide

Tips and advice from our team on job hunting and best practice once you’ve got the job, alongside insights into different employment sectors and details of the most LGBT-friendly employers in Britain

Monitoring forms

When applying for a job you may be asked to fill out an equal opportunities monitoring form, which may ask you about personal information such as your ethnicity, gender, faith and/or sexuality.

This information will only be viewed once recruitment has finished, providing the data organisations need to assess the fairness and reach of their recruitment processes.

 

Further information

Further information, and links to external websites, can be found in the Access to Your Career Canvas course.