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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Equal Opportunities
A lot of the jobs I'm going for at the moment include in their person specification something along the lines of "a commitment to and understanding of Equal Opportunities". Obviously this is A Good Thing (though I can't imagine a job where it wouldn't be A Good Thing, so I'm not sure why they need to state it).

The problem is, I have no idea what I can say to prove that I meet this criterion. I've never done any jobs which really demonstrate it, and invoking my social life seems tantamount to saying "some of my best friends are black Jewish lesbians, you know". I'm not even sure whether by "understanding of Equal Opportunities" they mean a general understanding of what it means, or an understanding of Equal Opportunities laws as they apply to employers and organisations, or ... or what.

The best I can think of for something to say is just making a statement along the lines of "I am firmly committed to Equal Opportunities in all situations, and believe that it is fundamentally unacceptable to discriminate against individuals on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other irrelevant criteria".

Does that sound sane? Is there any point in saying it? It feels like such a basic thing to have to say that I can't really believe it serves any purpose; also, it doesn't prove anything -- anybody could write that and not necessarily mean it. I feel like there's a magic word that I need to say to convince them, and I just don't know it.

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From: vyvyan Date: September 27th, 2003 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Could it be a sort of code for being familiar with the existing and coming requirements of the DDA? The OU are very keen on open access, and go on at us a lot about making all reasonable adjustments to enable disabled students to study normally. (In my case, this year this has basically consisted of printing extra-large tutorial handouts for a visually-impaired student, and making sure they could sit very close to the board!)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 27th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given the sort of jobs I'm applying for (mostly administrative stuff) I'm not sure why it would be that -- I suppose it could be though. Thanks for the suggestion anyway -- something to go and look up maybe.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 27th, 2003 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am firmly committed to Equal Opportunities in all situations, and believe that it is fundamentally unacceptable to discriminate against individuals on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other irrelevant criteria

A bit wordy, but that ought to do it. I interviewed someone for a deputy head's post once, and another member of the panel (a solicitor) insisted that we couldn't appoint the candidate (internal candidate, a teacher for twenty years, already doing the job) because he hadn't specifically mentioned in his application a commitment to equal opps which he demonstrated in practice every single working day. Charities, local government and educational institutions are sticklers for this sort of thing (my observation of local government is that it's more important than "I can do the job").

(Leakage from uk.misc - I agree 100% with your comment about communication involving real people, so I checked out your URL).

AJN.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 27th, 2003 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
A bit wordy

That's me. :)

Charities, local government and educational institutions are sticklers for this sort of thing

And they're exactly the kind of thing I'm applying for at the moment. <sigh> Actually, the current application-in-progress is for a job with the Police -- huge scary application form because of all the criminal record checks etc.!

leakage from uk.misc

Ah! Now I know who you are. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 27th, 2003 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, the current application-in-progress is for a job with the Police -- huge scary application form because of all the criminal record checks etc.!

Only forms I've filled in for years were a couple of CRB checks this year - the trick is to remember it's basically about identifying yourself with something they can use as a key to search the databases of criminal records, List 99 etc., and not worry too much about the details (I was with someone last week who was trying to work out if he'd been 21 or 22 years in his current house, in fact they are only interested if you've been there less than four, but that's not the question they ask).

I've interviewed for a school and a charity, in both cases with people with a lot of experience in making appointments, and my recommendation is to look very carefully at the job requirements and make sure you've "ticked all the boxes" in the application letter. Once you get through to interview it's not so important, but there are always anal-retentive types who'll compare the requirements and your application looking for an exact match as part of the pre-interview weeding-out. Even if your "use of spreadsheets" is limited to adding up a column of figures ten years ago, put it on the form or letter of application if it's there in the job description.

Good luck, anyway.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: September 28th, 2003 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, talk to me about it.

There's a whole bunch of legal weirdnesses about bilingualism in Quebec dating from the 1970s here, basically boiling down to dealing with separatist terrorism by being heavy on the terrorists and at the same time giving legitmate separatists anything they might possibly want except separatism, which in practise means you have to, frex, advertise in French in letters at least twice the size of anything else you write on the front of your shop.

In practice, I have three team members whose first language is Mandarin, so speaking Mandarin would be a major plus for hiring someone else, but can I say that ? Can I hell.
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