Finding support at the start of your career, whether that comes from speaking to a careers advisor, building a strong network or getting skills training, is incredibly valuable for any graduate, but even more so if you’re from an ethnic minority background.
Many students and graduates from ethnic minorities in the UK today face very real barriers to entry and achievement in their careers, with a study by the Equality and Human Rights Commission uncovering higher levels of unemployment amongst people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
You may be worried about how these inequalities will affect your entry into the job market or your progression later on. The important thing is to know that you are not alone; there is a multitude of organisations, initiatives and resources specifically aimed at supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, many of which were set up and are run by people who faced similar fears and barriers in their careers.
From inclusive employer lists to career development coaching, below we outline just some of the ways you can find support:
Finding a recruiter
BAME Recruitment is a diversity and inclusion consultancy that specialises in matching diverse talent to a range of industries and roles, such as marketing and accountancy.
Creative Access is an arts-specific recruiter that aims to get, and keep, under-represented communities in arts jobs. If your ambition is in film or another creative industry, Creative Access can help you.
Rare Recruitment focuses on diversifying elite professions and works with high profile companies such as JP Morgan. They can help with finding your dream job as well as careers coaching and development.
Finding an inclusive employer
The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) represents over 330 UK employers and provides training and resources around inclusivity. The list is designed to help you find a company that is truly committed to diversity in the workplace.
Inclusive Companies is another comprehensive cross-industry network of employers that are committed to driving inclusion and diversity forward. Each year it publishes a top 50 list of inclusive employers.
Finding skills & professional development training
SEO London is dedicated to providing technical and practical training for people from ethnic minority backgrounds to access jobs in engineering, corporate law and more.
Windsor Fellowship provides training and leadership opportunities to people from a diverse range of backgrounds. It works across sectors such as heritage and STEM to create pathways into rewarding careers in the form of internships and traineeships.
WCAN is dedicated to the professional development of Black women in the city and provides mentorship, training, events, conferences and more.
Finding a network
Networks of like-minded people can make a huge difference in navigating the early stages of your career. There are plenty of networks out there, such as the Black Young Professionals Network or industry-specific networks like Black Fundraisers UK or the BAME Network at the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy. LinkedIn is a great place to find networks, but a simple Google search will often also do the trick.
While this list is by no means exhaustive it should give you a great sense of the support that is out there and how to find it. Remember: we all need a bit of guidance at the start of our careers, so don’t hesitate to ask for help; there are people out there that are more than happy to provide it.