I was recently speaking to a friend who is due to graduate this year, and one phrase from that conversation made me really sad and it has stuck with me:

“I hope I can find a job despite everything.”

“Despite everything” here means despite being gay. Even in the year 2022, there are people who are genuinely worried that their sexuality and/or gender may be an obstacle in their path towards a chosen career, and sadly, that worry is for good reason.

Research suggests that LGBT+ people in the workplace do face more harassment and bullying for their sexuality and/or gender. In 2017, a government study revealed that 23% of LGBT+ people that took part had faced adversity and/or discrimination in the workplace. It is no wonder that some LGBT+ students worry about their prospects.

Despite these concerns, there is hope. When reaching out to the university employability team, they made it clear that progress is being made to make it easier for LGBT+ people to find employment in the fields they want to work in.

In November, The University of Greenwich hosted a careers fair which was focused on diversity and inclusion. The online fair, held in conjunction with other universities, saw over 500 University of Greenwich students in attendance, ready to engage with inclusive employers such as Porsche and TikTok. Seeing so many employers join, as well as the high numbers of students in attendance, goes to show that employers are considering more deeply the impacts of corporate diversity and inclusion programmes, and students, who may be fearful of their futures, are being proactive and determined in their approach to graduate careers.

The fair website is still live, with UoG students able to log in and watch recorded sessions from the day, which can be accessed here.

For LGBT+ students who will be graduating this year, websites such as Proud Employers may be of interest; this site only lists opportunities from LGBT+ friendly employers and LGBT+ friendly roles. The University of Greenwich Employability Team also works with employers such as the Eagles scheme and London Works, who provide graduate and internship roles, and have mission statements which are focused on diversity and inclusion.

While there is still a way to go and progress to be made, things are moving in the right direction for LGBT+ people in society and there should be no reason for LGBT+ graduates to struggle to find great opportunities in the future.

Whilst the University of Greenwich Employability Team is working hard to ensure that LGBT+ students are able to find opportunities, what about the graduates themselves? Well, they’re doing exactly what you’d hope; smashing expectations and reaching their goals. Whether you’re an LGBT+ student or an ally, there are opportunities out there for you. You just have to reach out and take them.

Thank you to the University of Greenwich Employability Team for providing an insight into the opportunities and help available to LGBT+ students and graduates.

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