Diversity and inclusion are hot topics in any industry these days: employers want to recruit diversely; candidates rightly expect to access work opportunities equally and to be considered fairly. But in a world where Covid and Black Lives Matter have both made global news, is the recruitment playing field level or limited?
Although Covid has its obvious limitations, it has also driven technology towards making recruitment processes much more accessible. Closed captions options on MS Teams, for example, enables students with hearing or auditory processing conditions to be able to access and understand questions/discussion.
Virtual interviews are ideal for candidates with health conditions who find travel fatigue limits their ability to shine, as well as making interviews more accessible to candidates with low funds. Tools such as Interview360 are also available to help students build confidence in preparing for online meetings.
Barriers to the world of work are also falling as employers embrace remote working. This is great news for graduates with caring commitments and other factors such as long-term health conditions that led them to limit their job search to opportunities close to home. It’s pretty exciting to consider that you could now work for a global company from your home desk in Essex. Check out the remote jobs section of Milkround as an example of the many opportunities available without geographic barriers
Opportunities for students with disabilities or long-term health conditions are also as widely available as they were pre-covid. Organisations like MyPlus Consulting, EmployAbility and Shaw Trust are experiencing greater demand than ever from employers who want to be connected with a more diverse talent pool. Schemes such as Change100 provide great opportunities for disabled candidates to explore career possibilities, and to grow employability confidence.
Our Futures Festival this year (1-12 November) welcomes industry professionals running student events including Working for an Inclusive Employer, Diversity in Teaching, Confidence in the Graduate Recruitment Process and Women in Engineering: Tomorrow’s Leaders.
Equality, diversity and inclusion is important to the work of the Employability Service. Our passion for enabling students access to inspirational mentors and a supportive network led us to launch ARU Shine (an employability programme for second year Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic students) and the Women in Engineering programme. These programmes, which connect students with industry mentors and training/development opportunities, are open to student applications right now.
Get involved, get inspired, and start setting career goals that are more ambitious than ever before. For support with any questions on your next steps, contact [email protected]
Khrieu Healy, Employability & Careers Adviser
Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.