Pulse Check Recap: Attracting LGBTQ+ Talent

In case you missed it, our Pulse Checks from last month delved into attracting LGBTQ+ talent, discovering what more employer brands can do to make LGBTQ+ students, graduates and applicants feel safe in the workplace. Here’s some of the highlights:

We kicked off the event by reporting the findings from our latest Pulse interviews of LGBTQ+ students from across the country. We found that:

  • Students we interviewed believe the ‘old boys club’ still exists, citing that industries dominated by white men are less inclusive.
  • Industries such as STEM, Legal and Engineering were considered the least inclusive by LGBTQ+ applicants.
  • 100% of students surveyed agreed that they would be much more likely to apply for a job if they knew the workplace had an LGBTQ+ affinity group.
  • None of the students we surveyed knew of a workplace where an LGBTQ+ affinity group existed.
  • Only 9.1% of students would think about sharing their gender identity or sexual orientation during the application process.
  • 91% of students believed that ‘looking good’ was the main driving force for brand activity during Pride Month.
  • 82% of interviewees said they wanted to see senior LGBTQ+ leadership in the organisations they apply for.

Next was our student and early careers panel, chaired by the Festival Director of National Student Pride, Ollie James Parr. We heard about the thoughts of LGBTQ+ students around the matter of representation in the workplace. LGBTQ+ students Moni and Naphon as well as Louisa and Joel, who currently work as entry level talent members at Microsoft spoke to us about intersectionality within queer spaces as well as employer actions.

We ended the session with a panel discussion, hosted by Hype’s own Jayne Cullen. The panel of industry experts gave their thoughts and comments on what they had heard and gave their own suggestions as to what more the industry could do to improve the conditions for LGBTQ+ applicants. Our panelists were:

  • Steve Keith – Founder and Chief Heart Officer at The Branding Man 
  • Sarah Fennell – Head of Diversity & Inclusion (EMEA) at Macquarie Group 
  • Khadija Lewis – Recruitment Officer at Frontline 
  • Helen Kelly – Student Attraction Advisor at EY

A big thank you to all our panelists, hosts and to our LGBTQ+ student interviewees for making this research possible.


If you’re interested in more of our research, we’re hosting another Campus Pulse Check at 2pm on Tuesday 25th May. You can register here.

We’ll be presenting recent research into activism on campus. After the unprecedented and eventful past year, we’re asking students several important questions surrounding how they envision life changing moving forward. How are they holding brands and employers accountable? What sort of new world do they want to build after the COVID-19 pandemic? Are they themselves an impossible group to please?

Along with sharing the insights from our Pulse Check research, we’ll be following up with two panels, one of opinionated students, and one of industry experts including names from Don’t Cry Wolf and One Young World. To find out more and register, click here.

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