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Feeling left out in the cold? All you need to know about equal opportunities in the
workplace: http://www.get.hobsons.com/equal_opps.html


The benefits of a diverse workforce
Britain’s population is, on average, getting older and in the future there will be
fewer young people leaving education and entering the labour market. But the
ethnic minority population has a much younger age structure than the population
as a whole.

Although just under 6% of Britain’s population is from ethnic minorities, their economic potential is
more significant than this percentage would suggest. Young people from ethnic minorities are a
growing proportion of the graduate labour market and have the skills and competencies that are in

The second benefit of diversity in the workplace is related to qualifications. Overall, people from
some ethnic minority groups have higher educational levels than those for whites. For example,
5% of white men have a degree or equivalent, compared to 7% for those of African-Asian origin,
7% for those of Indian origin and 12% for those of Chinese origin.

According to UCAS data for 2000 year of entry, there is a tendency for ethnic minority students to
study subjects which lead to professional qualifications. Law and medicine are also popular.
Business and administrative studies are popular among some groups of ethnic minority women,
and mathematical and computing sciences, engineering and technology are a frequent choice for
ethnic minority men.

Discrimination - an ongoing problem
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), overall unemployment rates for both men and
women from the ethnic minorities are about twice those for white people with the same level of
qualifications. This pattern exists across all age groups and among those with qualifications,
including graduates.

The picture is no better if previous occupation is taken into account. Unemployment rates for
ethnic minorities in the top four social classes were more than twice those for whites. The ONS
notes that differences in age profiles, qualifications and geographical distribution cannot account
for the persistent difference in unemployment rates compared with whites. It confirms that there is
continuing ‘labour market disadvantage’ faced by people from ethnic minorities. In other words,
racial discrimination is still there.

This was put strongly by the Director General of the CBI, Digby Jones: ‘Racism, wherever it exists
in our society, is about wasted lives, wasted potential, wasted people.’ And, in business terms, the
consequences of racism are ‘sales not made; ideas not thought up; hours not worked; expert
advice not listened to. Any good businessperson hates waste and so should also hate racism.’ The
CBI have supported the recent EU Race Discrimination Directive because, ‘it will create common
levels of protection throughout Europe and help complete the single market’.

The overall statistics suggest that too many employers are wasting talent. But many good
employers are making determined efforts to recruit people from ethnic minorities, and your
chances of finding one of the best jobs around have never been better. Your skills, abilities and
ideas are needed. Think positively and be proactive. The essential thing to do is to plan your job
hunt and market yourself effectively.


Your guide to support
All graduates face certain obstacles in their search for employment but often those
challenges are greater for ethnic minority graduates. However, there are many
schemes and organisations in the UK that work to ensure that equal opportunity
and racial equality exist evenly within employment.

Occasionally, employers may make assumptions about a black or Asians’ ability to do the job,
whether they will ‘fit in’ with other employees or be acceptable to customers and clients. Finding
the right job and the right employer is not always easy but there are ways of identifying good
employers; those who demonstrate their commitment. In the UK there are various campaigns for
racial equality, nationally recognised and initiated by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) but
led by employers.

The campaigns

Racial Equality Means Business
This is a standard for racial equality for employers. Launched by the Commission for Racial
Equality (CRE), it provides advice about the standards that employers need to adopt to create a
diverse workforce. Organisations are encouraged to review their practices and to form an action
plan to develop these practices further.

The campaign is backed by the ) Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trade Union
Congress (TUC) leading employers such as Cadbury’s, Rover Group, Texaco, Sainsbury’s, Shell
UK, Abbey National, the Financial Times. Government departments and agencies, voluntary
organisations and local authorities.

The campaign has spearheaded the Race for Opportunity business campaign involving 24 private
sector organisations. The champions of the private sector business world includes Barclays Bank;
BBC; The Boots Company; The Littlewoods Organisation; Lloyds TSB Group; Marks & Spencer;
McDonald’s Restaurants; Centrica; HSBC Bank plc; NatWest UK; Northern Foods; Prudential; W
H Smith Group; G E Capital Organisation; BT; and British Gas.

British Diversity Awards
This scheme was founded in 1995, and there are annual awards for education, equality innovation
and for raising awareness.

The Leadership Challenge
First launched in 1997, its purpose is to get the personal commitment of people in positions of
power to sign up to the ‘Framework for Change’. It’s also dedicated to taking a lead in the
promotion of racial equality in areas such as employment and the provision of services.

INTO Leadership Pilot Mentoring Scheme
This scheme was launched in 1999 at the INTO Leadership Conference. This is a new initiative in
the field of mentoring. The scheme seeks to identify aspiring black and Asian graduates and
professionals, and offer them one week’s work-based placements at senior management level.
These individuals are put into close and direct contact with senior management in order to provide
a unique learning experience and insight into life at the top.

For application forms and organisations participating in the scheme:
INTO Leadership - Mentoring Scheme
Coleridge House
4-5 Coleridge Gardens


What to expect when applying
The experiences of black and Asian people when applying for jobs will sometimes
differ from those of white applicants. If you are black or Asian you may
occasionally experience some form of discrimination by employers but this will
depend on the organisation’s knowledge, awareness of and commitment to equal
opportunities and a diverse workforce.

Top tips
The only way to find out if an employer is committed to racial equality in employment is to obtain
as much information as is possible about the organisation. In your research make sure you check
the following:

       Is there a statement of commitment to equal opportunity in all literature supplied by the
       Is there a comprehensive equality policy covering race, gender, disability, racial
        harassment and sexual harassment?
       Is there monitoring of recruitment selection and promotion?
       Is there a strategy for the training, promotion and retention of ethnic minority staff?
       Are black and Asians visible at all levels of the organisation, in particular in senior
       Does the recruitment literature contain positive images of black and Asian people?

Job hunting

Being successful in your job search is as much about preparation as about grasping
opportunities and creating your own luck. Given the level of competition you will face and
inequalities in the labour market as an ethnic minority graduate, you will need a strategy for
marketing yourself and developing your personal selling skills. This means investing time
and effort in the process.

Starting your job hunt
A good start would be to complete an exercise like the Career Drivers Survey in Dave Francis's
classic book Managing Your Own Career. This will put you in touch with the values that drive your
life and career decisions and therefore remind you to stick with what's really important and to be
true to yourself. Drivers or values include meaning or making a contribution, as well as using your
expertise, security, status, power and influence. There are many exercises in What Colour is Your
Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles to enable you to analyse your skills beyond your formal

Skills portfolio
Aim to create a skills portfolio, including extra-curricular experiences gained at college or
university. A pattern will begin to emerge as to whether you enjoy working with people, ideas,
information or things - or some combination of these.

As a first step in compiling your portfolio, list all of the jobs you've held, no matter how small, and
your range of experiences like voluntary sector work, holiday jobs and membership of clubs or
societies. From these you can then extract and prioritise the skills used like customer service,
organising yourself and others, planning, budgeting, working to deadlines, team leading, etc.
Remember that to claim a skill, you don't have to start out being 100% competent at it. Driving is a
case in point - a full licence is a benchmark for that particular set of skills, rather than proof of
absolute proficiency!

Job-hunting workshops
Consider attending the PricewaterhouseCoopers job-hunting workshops run by the company's
executive search recruiters. Held regularly in London, the workshops are free of charge, take place
over five hours of an evening and are well worth the effort. You will come away with a
comprehensive career development workbook and a number of useful tips for getting a job. You
will learn more about the importance of networking to keep abreast of the job market and how to
approach organisations directly.

Where to look
Be aware of any preferences you have for working in a particular sector and/or type of job. Visit
your careers service reference library or access the Internet to research what particular companies
do, their size, influence, outputs and staff profiles - including the proportions of staff by ethnicity
and gender. Direct contact or a phone call to a company's human resources or personnel
department is another way to get information such as annual reports or company brochures, which
could be sent to you. Ask for contact names so that when you phone up, you can speak to the right
person for the information you need.

What to read
Useful reference and information guides include the Hobsons' Graduate Career Directory and the
Career Guide Series (which includes those specifically for career women, ethnic minorities and
disabled graduates). Access the journals and newspapers where you are likely to find the specific
job adverts for your area of work. For example, The Guardian advertises jobs throughout the week
but carries specific ones on different days - Tuesday for jobs in education, Wednesday for public
sector and green jobs, Thursday for computing and IT jobs, and so on. The Hobsons' Career
Guides provide details of recruiters from specific industry areas whilst the Directory contains
details of over 1,700 organisations recruiting graduates this year. If you register with Hobsons'
Student Services you will be sent the current vacancies newspaper and membership magazine
and a fortnightly e-mail from recruiters interested in recruiting you.

Potential employers' requirements
Employers need people who are adaptable and who can make a difference. That difference needs
to result in business benefits. Employers want the best fit between the staff they take on and the
organisation. As an ethnic minority graduate, you can decide to make your diversity work for you.

Some of the skills that would be attractive to prospective employers include:

• business awareness

• motivation

• initiative

• good interpersonal skills

• adaptability

• teamworking

• a strong work ethic

• computer literacy

• presentation skills

• time management.

The additional skills and competencies you bring as an ethnic minority person might include
different cultural perspectives, which are useful for managing diversity in work teams and for
building up and attracting a wider customer base.

Take opportunities
In order to acquire and fine-tune these skills, you should take opportunities to undertake work
placements or work experience, either paid or voluntary. Many organisations run placement
schemes. Goldman Sachs, for example, is striving to promote ethnic diversity and will be launching
selected work experience schemes from the start of the year 2000 onwards. Chase Manhattan is
also 'committed to creating a diverse culture' and offers 'planned placement opportunities which
offer students invaluable work experience.'

Diversity success story
A recent initiative at Lloyds TSB succeeded in winning the organisation new business. The bank
realised that in certain parts of London, a significant percentage of its customers belonged to
ethnic minorities yet this percentage was not reflected among its branch staff. The company set
out to do something about this, while at the same time improving its service to customers. Its
ethnic minority staff members assisted in making community links by using their language and
other skills. The result was that sales of products and services rose by 15-20% overall and more
ethnic minority staff were recruited.

The Windsor Fellowship
The Windsor Fellowship offers you an opportunity you should not miss. The organisation is a
Positive Action initiative launched back in 1986 to address the lack of employment opportunities for
ethnic minority young people and the misconceptions held by both employers and the ethnic
communities. Its mission is 'to deliver high-quality personal and professional development
programmes preparing ethnic minority undergraduates for leadership and decision-making
positions in society'.

The organisation does this in collaboration with more than 80 sponsoring organisations from the
private and public sectors. There is a selection process for fellows who mainly enter as
undergraduates. Training takes place during vacations and fellows get the opportunity to carry out
work placements with their sponsoring organisation. Proficiencies learned on the programme

include teamworking, leadership skills, presentation and interviewing skills and how to do well at
assessment centres.

Who to contact
For the last three years, there have been careers fairs run specifically for ethnic minority graduates
and undergraduates, the first ever being launched by the National Mentoring Consortium (NMC).
The consortium is the largest mentoring organisation in Britain and Europe and is sponsored by
250 employers and 20 universities. Their schemes support undergraduates, the unemployed and
young offenders, train mentors and mentees on their roles. Generally speaking, both parties put a
high value on the quality of the relationship and on the outcomes. One mentor who works within
the Race Relations Advisory Service at the Department for Education and Employment said she
was inspired to enter the scheme to make a contribution to ethnic minority students and to the
community. She has regular contact with her mentee and is always on the look out for
opportunities to stretch her mentee with regard to her career prospects and development.

Careers Day 2000
The NMC's Careers Day 2000 will take place again at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London on 2
November, from noon till 7pm. There will be 70 employers' stands, ethnic minority careers advisers
and a range of workshops, from how to fill in application forms, to psychometric testing. Contact
your careers service to find out if your institution is helping to organise transport to the venue.

Recruiting for the 21st Century - careers fair
A FREE Career Planning Workshop presented by Project Fullemploy and the African and
Caribbean Finance Forum (UK) will be held on 21st September 2001 from 10am - 4pm at Bishops
Gate Institute, Bishops Gate, London, E1.

Here career planning specialists from ACFF and Project Fullemploy will not only provide you with
advice on producing an effective CV to lead you through the interview for that dream job, but also
coach you on interview techniques to ensure you achieve your aspirations, and those of your
future employers.

Attending the Career planning workshop will also provide you with the opportunity to participate in
the job matching service. This service pre-screens qualified candidates against actual vacancies,
and facilitates the initial interview for them at the Recruiting for the 21st Century Careers Fair.

The Recruitment Careers Fair will take place on Tuesday 13th November at the Barbican Centre,
with a host of corporate champions such as BBC, Citibank, Ford Motor Company, J.P. Morgan and
The Guardian offering employment opportunities.

Places for this free workshop are still available, but going fast so contact the African and
Caribbean Finance Forum on Tel: 020 7357 6760, fax: 020 7378 1227 or email: acff1@aol.com.

Online information on the Recruitment & Careers Fair can be found at: www.acff.org.

Landing the job you want is within your reach if you follow some of these basic hints. Being aware
of what you can offer recruiters and where to find the employers to whom your skills can make a
difference will set you on the right path. Formulate a clear strategy and grasp opportunities as they
present themselves to you, and you will successfully place yourself at the forefront of jobseekers in
your chosen field.


Top tips on how to get a job
You’ve just graduated and you have decided what type of job you want and which
companies to apply to. The next step is to prepare your job application which
involves carefully planning your covering letters, cv, application form, assessment
centres and the interview.

The covering letter
The aim of a covering letter is to introduce yourself to your prospective employer. Use it to expand
on your skills, abilities and experiences to explain why you are particularly suited to the job.

Here are some hints:

        write a fresh covering letter for each job application
        address it to a specific person
        keep it to one side of an A4 page
        hand-write or type and never send photocopies
        be positive and enthusiastic
        don’t simply repeat information from your cv
        sell your strong points.

Your curriculum vitae
‘It is important that you tailor your cv to the type of work you are applying for, rather than sending
out a broad-based cv,’ says Jeannette Perkins, a careers adviser. ‘Include a statement of
commitment that encapsulates your personality and shows your ambitions.’

The object of your cv is to sell yourself well enough to a prospective employer to secure an
interview. It is estimated that on average, employers take 15-20 seconds to read each cv they
receive, so pay attention to the layout.

Clearly demonstrate your experience and skills and include the following:

        your personal information, especially contact details
        an outline of your education to date
        a summary of your work experience, (including part time and voluntary) in chronological

Application forms
The application pack is a very significant aspect of the recruitment process. It should provide you
with useful information including:

        basic information about the organisation
        conditions of employment
        guidance to candidates
        equal opportunities statement
        job description
        person specification
        application form
        recruitment monitoring form
        organisation chart.

The above information is important in providing you with details about your potential employer and
enabling you to complete the application form. The recruitment monitoring form will ask questions
about ethnic origins. It should not be attached to the application form; this is to ensure that the

individuals involved in the shortlisting do not have access to the form. This information should be
supplied in the guidance to candidates.

Your ethnic origin is irrelevant in relation to your ability to do the job, but it is relevant in terms of
the organisation's monitoring of applicants to ensure they are attracting and employing ethnic
minority candidates. The application form should not ask questions about your nationality (except
in very specific cases such as certain Government agencies), marital status or children - such
information has no relevance to your ability to do a good job.

Take time to complete application forms carefully and thoroughly. An excellent piece of advice is to
make photocopies and practice your answers on these before actually filling it out. Follow any
instructions carefully and most importantly, answer all of the questions.

Pay special attention to sections that ask you to sell yourself, such as requests for ‘any further
information in support of your application’ or spaces provided for you to list your skills,
achievements and interests. Consider the reason behind the question before formatting your
response carefully.

Selling yourself
It is essential that you demonstrate the following attributes and make yourself crucial for the role:

        business awareness
        motivation to succeed and a strong work ethic
        initiative
        excellent interpersonal skills
        adaptability/flexibility
        teamworking
        computer literacy
        presentation skills.

The additional skills and competencies you bring as an ethnic minority person might include
different cultural perspectives, which are useful for managing diversity in work teams and for
building up and attracting a wider customer base.


How to succeed at interviews
‘Find out what the company does and exactly what the job entails,’ says Jeannette
Perkins, a careers adviser. ‘Read their glossy brochures. If it’s a small firm, ask if
you can look around and talk to someone about the company and the position
available before your interview. Even if they decline, they will remember that you

Plan your words
Make sure you prepare in advance for the inevitable questions that may need some thought, such
as ‘tell us about yourself?’ and ‘how would you improve our product?’ Plan to explain why you want
the job in less than three minutes, and, finally, prepare one or two questions for the end of the
interview, to show your interest in the company.

On the day
During the interview you should:

       Communicate clearly and concisely.
       Be positive and enthusiastic.
       Sell your achievements and abilities confidently. Stress why they should employ you.
       Be careful that your body language comes across as confident and open. Lean slightly
        forward and don’t cross your arms or fidget.
       Try to avoid being the one to raise the question of salary, if possible.
       Above all, try to relax and be yourself.

Appearance is crucial so dress smartly and simply. Try not to distract with too much make-up or
jewellery, and make sure you arrive well in time.

Case study
Bavani Padayachee, a recent law graduate, describes how she prepared for an interview:

‘I researched the company thoroughly. I memorised the names of the people conducting the
interview and took a copy of my cv and covering letter plus their reply in a professional looking
plastic folder. I chose a conservative black suit and was careful not to arrive more than 15 minutes
early as this looks too eager.’

I prepared myself for a number of questions:

       Why have I chosen to work in this field?
       What are my strengths and weaknesses?
       What aspect of the work do I enjoy the most?
       What is my five-year plan?
       How much am I looking for salary-wise?
       What can I contribute to the firm?
       What has been the most important experience of my life?
       What did I think about X/Y/Z current event?

I think I was successful because I was honest - and lucky! The thing is not to look desperate
because they like confident people. I was scared but I faked confidence. I also mentioned I had
been to other interviews and was waiting for offers! If you are confident and friendly, it makes up
for any cv inadequacies.


A graduate’s tale - a strategy for success
Six to nine months before Justin Lumbala completed his degree in business
economics at East London University, he contacted a careers adviser about job
opportunities and came away with a plan of action with short, medium and longer-
term goals. He dedicated a couple of hours a week to researching potential
employers via the Internet and by consulting employment guides available in the
university library.

Justin researched job and careers fairs through websites and produced a cv, seeking feedback on
it from course tutors, family and friends. Justin took the initiative to attend the Recruiting for the
21st Century fair, organised by the African Caribbean Finance Forum (ACFF), even though initially
he wasn’t sure about it. He was surprised at the numbers who attended and the variety of stalls
where he was able to network with companies he was interested in and literally take away bags of
information. Through this networking, Justin secured some voluntary work in the finance
department of a large voluntary sector organisation for the summer period. This valuable work
experience led to an offer of full-time work.


How to increase your employability
Graduates should take every opportunity to increase their level of employability
and one such avenue is obtaining postgraduate qualifications. An in-depth
knowledge of specific subjects such as computer sciences is becoming highly
sought after by recruiters.

The benefits
Further study:

        enables you to pursue a specific career path (eg, social work, teaching, etc)
        develops an in-depth knowledge of a specific subject area
        provides evidence of your academic ability
        introduces or develops the key skills recruiters seek (such as time management, project
         management, teamwork, report writing, analytical ability and research skills)
        enables you to make valuable contacts in key areas of industry
        could lead to ground-breaking research (and subsequent job offers)
        provides you with an opportunity to convert your degree into something more vocational.

International opportunities
If you are interested in studying abroad, you should start researching at the start of your final year
of undergraduate study. You may have to take tests to qualify for a place at certain foreign
universities - details will be available from the institutions concerned and from your university
careers service. Information on courses and scholarships in Europe can be found in Hobsons
Study Europe 2002 or visit www.postgrad.hobsons.com

Planning ahead
At the interview, be prepared with questions to investigate if the course is suitable for your
purposes. For help in deciding on the quality of a course, find out how it rates from the most recent
assessment exercises: the Research Assessment Exercise, the Teaching Quality Assessment and
the Audit of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. These will tell you about the staff,
their level of involvement in research and about the quality of research submitted by the particular
higher education institution.

If you plan to become a research student, it is essential to find out:

        the quality of supervision you are likely to receive
        what facilities are available, both at an institutional level (libraries, laboratory, computing
         facilities, etc) and in the department (study room, desk, photocopying, secretarial support,
        your working environment.

Apply in good time. Interviews usually take place between January and March, so applications
should ideally be sent off by the end of the autumn term. Current information on which places have
yet to be filled is always available on the Web, thus in some instances it is possible to apply after
the deadline. Each autumn, literature listing courses in the UK and application procedures become
available from university careers departments. This information will also be available on the
Internet. Find out more at www.postgrad.hobsons.com

Send off for prospectuses, funding details and application forms from institutions of interest. These
may be available on their websites as well. University careers services are also pleased to offer
help and advice on filling in application forms.

Tailor your application to the course and university that you are applying to. It is also useful to treat
it like a job application and compile a skills portfolio for yourself. Some of the skills might include:

        ability to organise own workload
        strategic planning
        teamworking
        interpersonal communications
        written communications
        computing skills
        ability to follow through
        attention to detail
        time management
        ability to work to deadlines
        stress management.


Your guide to funding postgrad courses
The vast majority of postgraduate students are self-financing and receive no
maintenance income to support their study. Apart from teacher training awards,
there are no mandatory grants available for postgraduates. Fees are about £2,600
per year (full time) for students from within the EU and between £6,000-£8,000 for
those from outside. However, there is no standard fee for postgraduate courses
and some course fees may be double or even triple these rates. MBA courses are
particularly expensive.

In addition to course fees, on average you will need around £6,500 a year to cover food,
accommodation, travelling and general expenses. Living in London will cost more. Part-time fees
also vary considerably but are likely to be about £900 per year.

Sources of funding

       Research Councils - there are six councils covering sciences and the social sciences,
        which offer grants between £6,445 and £9,000 per year for Master’s and Doctoral level
        study, with institutional fees paid as well www.research-councils.ac.uk. The Arts and
        Humanities Research Board acts in a similar way and pays £6,445 per year. Research
        Councils must designate all available grant funds by 31 July.
       Charities and trust funds - such as the Carnegie Trust and the Wellcome Trust,
        scholarships, local education authorities, Training and Enterprise Councils, professional
        bodies and organisations. Grants from charities are usually small and restricted in terms
        of eligibility. The career service has directories of trusts and charities. Apply early as
        charities may allocate their funds up to a year in advance.
       Scholarships are available from some universities - ask the course provider.
       Sponsorships may also be available from some employers. It is up to you to make
        enquiries - bear in mind that employers are unlikely to offer sponsorships unless the
        research to be carried out has a business benefit for them.
       Research assistantships, offering financial assistance for a student to take a postgraduate
        degree whilst contributing to the academic research in a department, are sometimes
        advertised in the Times Higher Education Supplement, New Scientist or Nature
       Postgraduates are not usually entitled to student loans, but some career development
        loans are available for certain shorter vocational courses. The Department for Education
        and Skills and four high street banks support these loans. They range from £200 to
        £8,000, to cover a maximum of 80% of fees, plus the cost of books, materials and other
        related expenses. Repayment usually begins one month after completion of your course.


Your guide to legal issues
We are fortunate in that this country was one of the first in Europe to have
legislation against racial discrimination, and we now have laws preventing
discrimination on grounds of disability, sex, marriage and pay. Two important new
developments in the past year signal an improvement in the legal framework for
tackling racial discrimination, and a European Union directive may further
strengthen the law.

New legal developments
2001 was an important year for racial equality. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act became law
in April. The Act applied the Race Relations legislation to the functions of public authorities which
were not previously covered. These include law enforcement by police officers, customs and
excise officials, tax officers and environmental and trading standards officers.

More significantly for those of you seeking employment in the public sector, the Act places a
general duty on public authorities to promote racial equality. This means that these bodies, which
are central and local government, the police and armed forces, have to be proactive and give ‘due
regard’ to race equality when carrying out their functions and when recruiting staff.

Furthermore the government proposes to extend the duty to many more public bodies, 302 in all.
This will include advisory bodies, executive bodies and public corporations. It is currently
consulting about imposing more detailed specific duties on public bodies which will require them to
prepare and publish a race equality scheme with its arrangements for assessing and consulting on
the impact of policies on race equality, and to monitor for adverse impact.

In introducing his proposals the then Home Secretary Jack Straw said:
‘Race equality is a moral imperative. It also makes best use of the available pool of talent and
allows everyone, regardless of colour or race, to achieve their full potential. So there are economic
and social benefits too. Furthermore, our great nation is built on diversity, change and immigration.
It is all the richer for this.’

The public sector is already an important source of employment for people from the ethnic minority
communities. These new duties, which are the most advanced in Europe, will encourage the public
sector to seek out talented graduates from ethnic minority backgrounds. Your chances of finding
employment will certainly be boosted.

In June 2000, the European Union adopted a directive requiring member states to put into effect
legislation to combat racial discrimination. Although the UK’s legislation already meets EU
standards, it means that anyone who works in another member state will now have the protection
which they formerly only had in the UK. This will make it easier for people from the ethnic
minorities to move freely into work in other parts of Europe, and will open up career opportunities.


Happy days - diversity success stories
Lloyds TSB
Last year Lloyds TSB won the inaugural Award for Excellence in Diversity,
organised by Business in the Community (BitC). BitC is a unique UK-wide
movement of companies committed to improving their positive impact on society.
It has a core membership of 70 companies, including 70% of the FTSE 100
businesses. The bank won the award on the back of its leading edge diversity

Lloyds TSB champion the strategy at board level and target staff at all levels. Their strategy
includes mentoring schemes; the encouragement of networking - including a recently launched
network for ethnic minority staff; work-life balance; and developmental programmes for women,
ethnic minorities and staff with disabilities.

As Deputy Group Chief Executive, Mike Fairey states: ‘I want an organisation that recognises
diversity, that values the individual and creates opportunity for everyone. On this basis Lloyds TSB
will go from strength to strength.’

The Windsor Fellowship
The Windsor Fellowship organisation is a Positive Action initiative launched back in 1986 to
address the lack of employment opportunities for ethnic minority young people and the
misconceptions held by both employers and the ethnic communities. Its mission is ‘to deliver high-
quality personal and professional development programmes preparing ethnic minority
undergraduates for leadership and decision-making positions in society’.

The organisation does this in collaboration with more than 80 sponsoring organisations from the
private and public sectors. There is a selection process for fellows who mainly enter as
undergraduates. Training takes place during vacations and fellows get the opportunity to
undertake work placements with their sponsoring organisation. Proficiencies learned on the
programme include teamworking, leadership skills, presentation and interviewing skills and how to
do well at assessment centres.

Employer comments
James Ross, Chairperson, the Littlewoods Organisation: ‘A diverse workforce can help us plan
more successful marketing, service delivery and customer-care strategies. In an extremely
competitive retail environment, customers and clients are more likely to prefer us if we and our
suppliers have fair workforce practices.’

Ian Harley, Chief Executive of Abbey National: ‘At Abbey National we respect and value individual
differences. We will demonstrate our commitment by working to create a culture of inclusion and
diversity, founded on the fundamental belief that all employees should be treated with equal
openness, honesty and respect. Every individual should have confidence that the company does
not tolerate unfair treatment or discrimination.’

British Gas says: ‘As part of our sustained drive for competitiveness and superior performance, BG
takes a positive approach to equality and diversity. By tapping into the talent and skills available in
all groups and communities, we underpin the lasting success of our enterprise.’


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