LGBTQ+ flag


Identifying Positive Employers

Many graduate employers are recognising the benefits of recruiting a diverse workforce, with some companies developing initiatives to involve and support LGBTQ+ staff.

The following resources are useful in finding positive employers in your job search:

» Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2019

» Starting Out: LGBT Careers Guide

» Proud Employers

» VERCIDA Top 10 LGBT-inclusive Employers 2018

Internships & Work Experience

There are a number of internships that have been designed to help LGBTQ+ students and graduates gain valuable work experience.

» Inside & Out
Investment banking internship open to 1st and 2nd year university LGBT students.

» DiversCity in Law
Event for LGBT students interested in a career as a lawyer in the city.


Coming out is personal and different for everyone. While many are out in their personal lives, they may not want to come out at work.

Should I come out at work or during the recruitment process?

This is an entirely personal decision; you do not have to disclose your sexual identity at any point during the recruitment process and you should not be asked about it by an interviewer.

If you want to highlight any actions you took as part of an LGBTQ+ student society or similar – as good evidence of your skills – you can do so without having to disclose your sexual identity.

Do I need to disclose that I am trans at work or during the recruitment?

No, there isn’t a legal obligation and you do not have to disclose your gender identity to be protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Particularly if you plan to transition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and other organisations recommend that you discuss your gender identity with your employer so that they can support you, but it remains a personal choice.

Your Rights

The Equality Act 2010 makes unlawful any direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the grounds of sexual orientation, which covers heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.

The Equality Act 2010 also makes unlawful any direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation due to gender reassignment. Gender reassignment refers to 'people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex'; this does not need to involve medical intervention.

Under the act, the person has to have proposed to undergo gender reassignment, but they can change their mind and not carry through with the process.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 enables trans people who have transitioned at least two years previously to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). This ensures that in law they have the rights and responsibilities associated with their gender identity, so, for example, they can receive the state pension and other benefits at the relevant age. Trans people who are required to undergo a criminal record check by the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland as part of a recruitment process can have a confidential check so that their previous name/gender isn’t disclosed to an employer.

See also:

  • Direct discrimination

    Breaks down into three different sorts of direct discrimination of treating someone 'less favourably' because of:

    • their actual sexual orientation (ordinary direct discrimination)
    • their perceived sexual orientation (direct discrimination by perception)
    • the sexual orientation of someone with whom they associate (direct discrimination by association).
  • Indirect discrimination

    Can occur where there is a policy, practice, procedure or workplace rule which applies to all employees, but disadvantages people of a particular sexual orientation. An example of this could be a particular policy for maternity/paternity leave does not apply to same-sex couples.

    In some limited circumstances, indirect discrimination may be justified if it is what the law terms 'a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim'. Find out more in this acas guide.

  • Harassment

    When unwanted conduct related to sexual orientation has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

    Harassment because of sexual orientation can take many different forms. It could be a verbal or written comment, what somebody thinks is a 'joke', exclusion from conversations or activities, violence or the threat of violence. 

  • Victimisation

    Is when an employee suffers what the law terms a 'detriment' - something that causes disadvantage, damage, harm or loss - because, for example, they have made or supported a complaint about sexual orientation discrimination.

    Employers should ensure they have policies in place which are designed to prevent sexual orientation discrimination in:

    • recruitment
    • determining pay, and terms and conditions of employment
    • training and development
    • selection for promotion
    • discipline and grievances
    • countering bullying and harassment
    • dismissal.