Employment and the BIPOC community

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Black history month gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past, contemplate our present and look ahead to what we want to achieve. We want to continue this throughout the entire year, not just in October.

Employment forms a large part of your life. After graduating you will spend nearly one third of your waking hours (approximately 90 000 hours) working, making employment a significant aspect of your lifetime and shaping it in many ways.

The statistics for the UK are startling; in the academic year 17 /18, of White graduates domiciled in the UK, 62% were in full-time employment. This is 8 percentage points higher than UK domiciled graduates in BME groups. Graduates of Black, Asian or Other ethnicity were more likely to be unemployed than White graduates. Add to the difference between incomes, a 2019 Office for National Statistics report (ONS) and the subject of an article in the Guardian by Patrick Collinson published on Tuesday 23 Jun 2020, showed that on average, White household income in the financial year to 2019 was £42,371, compared with £35,526 in Asian households and £25,982 in African-Caribbean households. After tax and benefits, the average White household had a “final” income of £38,222, 9% more than Asians on £35,023, and 18% more than Black households on £32,353. It is worth noting, delving further into the report, that the ethnicity pay gap between White British employees and most other ethnic groups narrows once other characteristics such as education and occupation are taken into account, however, some significant gaps still remain. This will make you ask the question what are we doing to help bridge this gap?

Robert Gordon University Employability department is a proud partner of many organisations who are positively addressing the above pay gaps. In this article I will highlight just two of our partner organisations; other organisations do run similar schemes or initiatives – speak to the careers team to find out more:

EY - In a wider perspective EY are aiming to double the proportion of Female and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) talent in the UK partnership to 40% and 20% BME by July 2025, and they have committed to 15% of BAME target to be Black Partners. In Scotland, our recruitment partners are running specific events to help you. They ran a virtual recruitment event for those from a black heritage called ‘Spotlight on You – Making Black History Everyday’ an opportunity for students to hear more from EY’s influential black leaders, graduates and apprentices on how they've shaped their paths to success and their experiences of working for EY. More information on future events can be found on our events board – www.rgu.ac.uk/ehubevents

In addition to the above EY will be running an insight programme for students of a black heritage in their 2nd year of study to find out more about EY. This is called Discover EY - Black Heritage in Business. Over one day students will take part in workshops, panel events and discussions designed to inspire. As well as learning about other people’s stories, they will pick up great advice to help them sculpt their own careers. There’ll also be Q&A’s with our people, information on our D&I strategy, a session delivered by our EY Black Network, assessment centre workshops and the opportunity for networking. You could even get fast-tracked onto one of EYs internship or programmes for 2022. The website to apply to this programme is here: https://www.ey.com/en_uk/careers/students/programmes/undergraduates/discover-ey.


Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Diversity is a central goal in all areas of the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car business, their diversity initiatives are more than clever advertising. They have a real commitment to a diverse workplace that extends to every employee, customer, service provider and business partner. Enterprise has relationships with partners that include: Race for Opportunity and Opportunity Now.  Enterprises recruitment process has several safe guards in place to ensure the best candidates are taken forward, and bias is removed. They have an award-winning Diversity Scorecard, including case studies and examples to support their recruiting teams and line managers. Enterprise’s careers site has been audited to ensure their recruitment process is accessible and transparent, with a dedicated diversity page accessible here - https://careers.enterprise.co.uk/diversity-and-inclusion. In addition they have a plethora of online resources to support candidates through the recruitment process, ensuring you have the chance to shine.

Watch out for our video with RGU alumni and Enterprise employee - Usama El-Zarouk on the benefits and opportunities that working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers. In addition, Enterprise will be running an event for RGU students entitled – Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, on Tuesday 27th October at 11am,  more information can be found on the RGU events page.


These are just two partners who are ensuring the BIPOC community are having an opportunity to shine; view all of our partners and organisations on our job board, www.rgu.ac.uk/ehubjobs . Other organisations are running similar schemes and events to support you in your next steps, use our resources at www.rgu.ac.uk/ehub to ensure your CV and skills are ready to help you take your next steps.


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