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Equality and diversity in the workplace

Most employers are committed to supporting equality and diversity and value what this brings to an organisation.

However, The Equality Act 2010 provides the legal framework to protect against unfair treatment. It also gives employers and other organisations the guidance to achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in society.

The Act covers nine protected characteristics – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation.

Help with your career planning

We are positive about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and are here to help with any aspect of your job selection process.

You can book a book confidential and impartial career consultation with one of career advisers via your Careers Account, or use these equality and diversity resources from a range of organisations to guide you in your career planning.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission also has information on the employment rights of various diverse groups.

The Equality Act makes it unlawful for individuals to be treated less favourably on the grounds of age. The exception to this is where there is a legitimate and proportionate justification (eg a requirement to be over the age of 18 for certain jobs, a specific initiative aimed at older people, or apprenticeships aimed at younger people).

If you're uncertain how to tackle the possibility of ageism in the workplace, then please contact us. You can also visit the Employers Forum on Age website, which is a network of employers offering information and advice.

The Student Room also provides help and information for mature students, as well as a chance to exchange  your views with others.

The term 'disability' includes dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning disabilities.

Employers have a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments for staff and applicants with a disability. Early engagement with career planning can be valuable for some disabled students, while for other students their disability does not have a bearing on their career planning. Find out more about disclosing a disability at work.

Tailored support and guidance

In addition to support from our team, you can take advantage of other available guidance from a range of charities and organisations.

EmployAbility works to assist people with all disabilities into employment. Business Disability Forum is a UK employers’ organisation focusing on recruiting and retaining disabled staff and improving services to disabled customers. Use their about us section as a way of identifying potential employers, as it lists all members.

Great With Disability offers opportunities and careers advice from disability-confident employers. BlindinBusiness (BiB) is an organisation that supports all visually impaired undergraduates and graduates to find jobs in business.

MyPlus Students' Club offers information and advice on recruitment and disclosing disability, as well as some vacancies and case studies. Shaw Trust is a charity that supports disabled people in finding work.

UK Government also provides support for employers such as ergonomic equipment, assistive software.

Destinations of disabled graduates

What Happens Next? is a report by The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Disability Task Group on what disabled graduates went on to do after graduation, and how they found out about their jobs. The report includes self-employment and further study.

If you're a current student

The University's Disability and Dyslexia Service provides information and advice on all aspects of support for disabled students.

You can also find out about programmes, such as GO Wales, that create work experience opportunities for students with disabilities or work-limiting health conditions.

Employers from all sectors are realising the importance of a diverse workforce from a range of ethnic and social backgrounds.

There are a number of schemes in place aimed at ensuring that students and graduates do not face barriers in building their careers. The Windsor Fellowship offers development programmes – The BBC World Service, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Unilever and British Airways are some of the companies that support the Windsor Fellowship.

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London is a not for profit organisation that provides summer internships in the financial services industry to students from under-represented ethnic minority backgrounds.

Asian Jobsite advertises vacancies in the public and private sector for ethnic minority students and graduates. Ethnic Minority Jobsite is a recruitment website working in partnership with major employers.

There have been many positive developments in achieving sex equality in the workplace, but there is still under-representation in some sectors and there remain issues with pay gaps.

There are several organisations providing guidance and promoting inclusion in under-represented sectors. The British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) offers support and advice to graduates.

Women Into Science, Engineering and Construction (WISE) works with people in business, industry and education to 'increase the participation, contribution and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)'.

STEM Women organise careers and networking events for STEM students who identify as women. They also work on building student communities, sharing resources and tailoring careers advice for women looking to enter a STEM sector.

Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF) is a members organisation for women in banking and finance with career development and networking resources.

Many employers have a positive commitment to supporting LGBT+ staff and applicants, and will have clear policies on addressing any instances of discrimination or workplace bullying.

There are a number of employers (including Cardiff University) who have been recognised by Stonewall as providing a positive workplace. Stonewall is a charity which campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain.

Their Starting Out Careers Guide is great resource for researching employers, but it's worth noting that smaller organisations might not be featured.

If you're thinking about coming out at work, TARGETJobs and AGCAS provide information on disclosing sexual orientation, along with advice on finding LBGT+ employers.

Find out more about where to look for job opportunities with LGBT+-friendly employers from across the UK.

Supporting trans students and graduates

The Welsh Assembly Government’s Transgender Action Plan sets out a strategy to achieve transgender equality. TARGETJobs offers advice on disclosing your trans status to an employer, as well as guidance on weighing up the pros and cons.

Find out more

Careers and Employability