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There’s no getting away from the fact that the employment market is pretty tough right now. Unemployment’s on the up, and the outlook is far from rosy.

And if you’re gay and looking for work, there are other concerns about potential workplaces: is it OK to be out? is there an LGBT staff network? is there evidence of gay staff rising to the top.

That’s why it was so heartening to visit this year’s Diversity Careers Show, held for the third year in a row at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms. Organised by Square Peg Media in association with Stonewall, the event was headline sponsored by French banking giant Société Générale and supported by Google and the Royal Air Force. All sorts of organisations were on hand to showcase their opportunities and diversity credentials to eager jobseekers, and sectors represented included retail (eg John Lewis, Enterprise and Asda), banking (including RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, American Express, HSBC and others), legal (such as Eversheds, Freshfields and more), financial (Ernst & Young, FSA), public sector (local authorities, government, ambulance, fire and police services) and the armed services.

Laura Doughty, Deputy Chief Executive of LGB charity Stonewall said: “Lesbian, gay and bisexual jobseekers want to know potential employers will support and develop them to achieve their full potential. Over 600 major employers have joined Stonewall’s good practice programme, ‘Diversity Champions’, recognising that people really do perform better when they can be themselves.”

It really is great to see so many big names reaching out to the gay community, especially those from sectors not traditionally associated with diversity. Good luck to them and, if you’re looking for a job and couldn’t make it to the DCS, visit for a list of gay friendly employers, or pick up a copy of Stonewall’s fabulous Starting Out Guide.

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