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#HEARmeOUT - Celebrate your LGBT* related achievements and talk about them positively with employers

Are you unsure about whether or not to include your involvement as an LGBT* society committee member on your CV, Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) or job application? How about the skills you gained in all the hours you spent volunteering for your local Pride event? You might be worried about discussing these activities with your personal tutor or your university’s careers centre. You might be concerned about how an employer will view this aspect of your experience and identity when considering you as a potential fit for their organisation. Or you might just not want to necessarily ‘out yourself’ to your prospective colleagues before you’ve even met them…

These are all perfectly valid concerns to have. Which is why, in the context of the HEAR (through which non-academic achievements can be recorded and verified), there is clear guidance for universities and colleges about the requirement for a student to have the right and opportunity to remove or ‘hide’ a particular extracurricular activity from Section 6.1 of their HEAR if they wish to. Not everyone needs to know you were a member of the ‘Harry Potter and Gin Society’ (this is a real society…look it up)! However, the good news is that there are hundreds of UK employers who are likely to be very positive about your engagement with LGBT* activities and who will be interested in knowing more about the skills and values you have developed as a result. For example, the 700+ employers that are involved in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, plus many more, for example those who have their own LGBT* staff network.

This is why we are launching the #HEARmeOUT campaign, through which we will:

  • Signpost to guidance and information that might be useful to LGBT* students and graduates when deciding what to share, who with and at what stage (for example, check out Stonewall’s University Guide 2015);
  • Celebrate the range of LGBT* related activities and opportunities that are available to students studying at UK universities and colleges;
  • Discuss the benefits of positively sharing LGBT* achievements with personal tutors, careers advisors and potential employers;
  • Provide a space for employers to publicly pledge their support for the #HEARmeOUT campaign and for their understanding of the value of LGBT* related achievements.

Watch this space over the coming months!