Sexual orientation employment guide
In this employment guide we're sharing tips on how you can find LGBT inclusive employers and establish positive conversations with potential employers. Disclosing your sexual orientation in your job application, as part of the recruitment process or in the workplace, is a personal decision. We'll look at steps you can take before accepting a job offer to ensure that you have chosen the right employer for you.
Opportunities - what to look for when researching employers
Sexual orientation has become a significant aspect of the quality agenda for many organisations. An increasing number of employers are becoming more responsive to the needs and requests of their staff. They want to attract the best candidates irrespective of their sexual orientation or other protected characteristics.
Research is vital in making sure you find an employer that's right for you. The following website are a good starting point:
- Proud Employers - A jobsite which caters exclusively for LGBT people, helping candidates find roles with organisations committed to diversity and inclusion for their employees.
- The Workplace Equality Index: a list of the 100 most LGBT-inclusive organisations in the UK.
Many of the companies included in these resources are larger employers, but it’s important not to rule out working for smaller organisations. It will always be worth checking the websites of companies you're interested in to see what policies they have in place and whether they refer to sexual orientation.
A number of programmes, internships and insight days are available that are specifically designed for LGBT students. Below is a list of some of the opportunities that may interest you.
What do you need to tell a potential employer
Telling your employer or colleagues about your sexual orientation is a personal decision. There's no right or wrong choice as to whether or not you should disclose your sexual orientation, or a right time to do so.
Research by Stonewall reports that people who have a supportive workplace, with inclusive policies, feel more comfortable to be themselves, which increases their productivity and performance.
Marketing yourself positively to an employer is always important, regardless of your personal situation. Consider how disclosing your sexual orientation may be done in a constructive way to show you have the skills that make you stand out from other applicants.
Showing you can work in a diverse environment and manage preconceptions are excellent skills to have. Coming out to others involves risk-taking, empathy, sensitivity and courage - all qualities that employers welcome.
Support organisations and networks
Many larger organisations have established LGBT networks and these are a good indication of the organisation’s culture. It's a personal choice to join a network, but it may offer the opportunity to support representation within the organisation and the sector that you're working in. Trade unions can also be a good source of support and information. Many, such as the teaching and public sector unions, have LGBT+ information on their websites. The following organisations provide information, advice and support: