If you are passionate about promoting equality and if you have anything it takes to ensure positive practices and attitude, you may consider becoming an equalities officer.
An Equalities officer is a person responsible for ensuring that people in minority groups are treated equally regardless of characteristics such as age, disability or gender. His primary job is to encourage equality and diversity within the organization he works for. In some organizations, he may be known as an equality and diversity officer, or equal opportunities officer.
As an equalities officer you are expected to perform various tasks such as:
- Identifying issues related to inequality, reviewing existing practices and introducing new policies
- Working to develop a diverse workforce
- Encouraging community-based equality projects
- Promoting equality initiatives and events, such as International Women’s Week
- Working with local community services, and minority groups to understand their needs and gain an insight into the effects of discrimination
- Monitoring staff recruitment, development and retention practices
- Working in schools for the rights of children from ethnic minority backgrounds
- Delivering seminars, presentations and workshops to promote equal opportunities
Working Hours and Conditions
Your working hours are usually 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may also have to work evenings or weekends if you are involved in a community project. There may be opportunities available for job sharing and part-time as well.
You are normally based in an office but you may have to travel for community projects, meetings and workshops.
New equality officers
Around £18,000 a year
£25,000 to £40,000 a year
Senior or head equalities officers
£40,000 or more a year
You usually need relevant work experience as well as a degree in a related subject such as:
If you don’t hold a relevant degree, you may pursue a postgraduate course in related subjects such as race and ethnic relations, disability studies, or equality and diversity.
You may also get into this profession by having a professional work experience in the field of human resources, youth and community work or social work.
You may also be able to start as a trainee or assistant equalities officer if you have an extensive relevant voluntary work experience with community groups.
Some employers may also seek your membership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Once employed, you usually receive on-the-job training from your employer. Your employer may encourage you to work towards various industry qualifications, such as:
- Level 2 Award in Equality and Diversity
- Level 3 Award in Principles of Equality and Diversity
- Level 4 Award in Managing Equality and Diversity in an Organization
- Postgraduate qualification in Equality and Diversity Management
To keep yourself abreast of latest issues, you may also consider pursuing professional qualifications and training in equality and diversity offered by the CIPD:
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Qualifications)
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Training)
Other relevant short courses are offered by various local colleges and other training providers.
To be an equalities officer, it is vital that you demonstrate the following:
- Impeccable communication skills
- Excellent research and analytical skills
- Be a good listener
- Be able to deliver presentations effectively
- Good understanding of equal opportunities issues
- Be able to connect and relate to a wide variety of people
- Be able to influence others
- Excellent negotiation skills
- Be able to work alone as well as in a team
- Strong intuitive nature
- An open mind and flexible nature towards work
- Be able to meet deadlines
- Good organizational skills
It is advantageous to know a second community language.
You may find employment with public sector organizations, such as local authorities, the police and the civil service. There are wok opportunities available also at:
- Law Society
- Large companies
- Schools and universities ( For this you need to qualify as a teacher first)
- Trade unions
To rocket fuel your career as an Equalities officers, you may gain extensive experience in the industry through following means:
- By becoming a member of equality and diversity committees and societies at university
- By getting involved in related student unions or trade unions
- By doing voluntary work
After gaining significant experience and a sound reputation, you may move on to work as a consultant on a freelance or self-employed basis.
This job is about being passionate and committed towards your work. Through your job, you have the rare opportunity to make a positive change in the lives of millions. It is one of the very few humane jobs and it should be taken with utmost sincerity.
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