Equality and Careers

Many organisations choose to collect information on the race, ethnicity, sex and other protected characteristics of their staff. This practice is lawful and it can help employers understand how diverse (or not) their organisation is and if necessary develop processes and strategies to maintain and or improve diversity. The Data Protection Act 2018  strictly controls how your personal information is used by organisations. Employers are under a duty not to treat you differently because of your age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

See the UK Equality & Human Rights Commission and UK Government's Equality Act 2010 webpages for further information on your rights, what areas are covered by the Act and what action you can take if you feel you have been unfairly discriminated against.

Who is protected by the Equality Act?

The Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

How can I tell if an employer has a strong commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion?

Most organisations state they are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, however it’s sometimes difficult to know how deep that commitment is. Here are some tips to help you research and find out more: 

  • Read their equality, diversity and inclusion policy  - is this easy to find on their website?
  • Search their website to see if they have any specific staff networks.
  • Look for external accreditation eg: whether they are a Disability Confident Employer, a Stonewall Diversity Champion etc.
  • Check to see if they are partnering with organisations such as Rare Recruitment, SEO London, MyPlus Consulting, EmployAbility, Creative Access or one of the many other organisations that support under-represented communities.
  • Explore what they do to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion on their website and social media pages. Is this consistent throughout the year or just at specific times eg: during Black History Month, LGBT+ History Month, International Women’s Day etc.?
  • Ask recruiters you meet about their firm’s equality, diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives.

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