Equality matters

Equality concerns

You may have a number of concerns and questions when considering your career options and the jobs or courses you are interested in. These may revolve around equality issues such as:

  • whether you have a disability
  • your race
  • whether you have a criminal record
  • your gender
  • your sexual orientation

For links to advice on each of the above, see our 'Information resources' which you can access via the link to the right of this page.

Disability

Your disability may have no impact on your future career plans, although there could be issues which you’d like more information on, such as whether to disclose this to a prospective employer and what ‘reasonable adjustments’ you can expect in the selection process and in the workplace. You’ll find links below to advice on a range of related topics and further resources.

Although many students are anxious that their disability / dyslexia will have an impact on their career choices, in reality this is often not the case. It is likely that through school and Higher Education you will have developed a range of sophisticated ‘coping strategies’ or alternatives approaches to handling obstacles which you have faced both in your study and extracurricular activities.

However – the advice which a Careers Adviser would give to any student or graduate in relation to their career decision making is to ‘play to your strengths’. Through an individual discussion with a Careers Adviser you might find it useful to explore your current career aspirations, to use their assistance to broaden out your idea and also to identify what, if any, ‘reasonable adjustments’ could be put into place to address any problems which you anticipate.

Research how 'disability positive' an employer is

Some employers use the UK Government's 'Disability Confident' scheme  (previously the 'Two Ticks' scheme). Under the scheme, these employers operate a policy of positive discrimination in the recruitment and retention of disabled employees and those with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. Where possible, all candidates who have declared a disability and meet the basic selection criteria, will automatically be offered an interview.

Where an employer is not a 'Disability Confident' scheme member, there are ways you can check their disability record, before deciding whether to make an application:

  • Check if their website includes a policy statement on equal opportunities and / or profiles of disabled employees
  • Do their job adverts use the words ‘positive about disabled people’?
  • Is the organisation a member of the Business Disability Forum?
  • Is it a supporter of the Mindful Employers ‘Charter for employers who are positive about mental health’?
  • Look out for opportunities to talk to representatives of the company at careers events to get a first-hand impression
  • Check if there are any support networks in the company for disabled employees
  • Make contact with University of Sheffield alumni who are now working in the organisation
  • Does the employer indicate that ‘alternative formats’ for application forms etc. are available?
  • Does their website refer to any ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the selection process?

Disability and mental health

Targetjobs provide information to support you in finding disability-positive employers, whether or not to disclose your disability and your rights around disability and mental health

Get that job

Our short videos provide support to help you research organisations who are disability positive (you will need your username and password)

My Plus Students' Group

Provides opportunities and careers advice from disability confident employers.

Widening participation students

Discover your future - for widening participation students

All students should have fair access to opportunities and the chance to thrive in the right career. Certain features of the graduate labour market can favour people from more privileged backgrounds, and regardless of background, some students find it easier to make the move into graduate employment than others.

Discover your future provides dedicated careers support for 'First generation+' undergraduates (those who are either in the first generation of their family at University, or meet other criteria). Once you register, you will have access to a range of talks and one to one support.