Monday, November 23, 2009

Diversity Careers Show 2009

Back in 2007, I went along to help at an event which was designed to recruit gay graduates into investment banking. I went along to help last year too, although on that occasion I didn't do a post about it on this blog.

This year there was a similar event, called the Diversity Careers Show, which was broader in terms of the types of organisations who were looking to recruit gay graduates. In addition to banks there were also some law firms, some firms like Google, Shell, Tesco, and some public sector organisations such as GCHQ, the Metropolitan Police, and the Royal Navy too.

Having been to the gay graduate recruitment event for the last two years, I decide to visit this year's event too. When I arrive I'm amazed to discover that the event has the explicit support of Gordon Brown, the UK's prime minister, who'd written a letter to the organisers:Even though I'm not really a fan of Gordon Brown's, I'm still impressed that he'd taken the time to support the event. It emphasises what I've felt for a long time now, namely that the UK is a good country to live as a gay man :-).

Talking to a few of the guys who were on the stands representing their respective banks, I get the impression that the event this year isn't as productive for the banks as the exclusively investment banking event had been in previous years.

"Yeah, like you I was at the investment banking inside-and-out event for the last two years," says one guy. "The candidates who turned up to those events were much more focused on investment banking, whereas a lot of the candidates here don't really know what they want to do."

"Why wasn't there an investment banking inside-and-out event this year?" I ask another guy.

"Well, it's much cheaper and less hassle joining this event, rather than having to organise an independent one!" he replies, "But we haven't had a lot of interest here, so I'm not sure what we'll do next year."

One aspect of the previous year's event which was included in this year's event, was a panel of gay investment bankers to talk about their experiences and answer candidate's questions. It was good to hear that they're generally of the same opinion as me, namely that it isn't a problem being openly gay in investment banking any more :-).


Anonymous said...

God bless Gordon. He really does try.

Anonymous said...

Why have so many of the banks not participated in the career fair this year? Were the 2007/08 events symptomatic of the market at its peak? Would hope not!

John F said...

Good for Gordon. This falls into the 1% of what he does that I agree with and support.

I must concur: this is one of the best countries in the world in which to be a gay man.

Jay said...

I wanted to come along to this event, however I was at work. I don't believe it was well advertised.

Anyways you can't know if you like a job until you've done it. What do you think GB?


GB said...

No idea about why a lot of banks didn't participate in the career fair, second anonymous commenter.

And I'm not sure what you're asking, Jay? In spite of the financial crisis, I still think that banking is a good industry to work in :-).

GB xxx

Anonymous said...

I was at the inside-and-out event last year GB, we could have met. How thrilling!

Anonymous said...

GB, aren't you in the closet at work?

Jay said...

Interesting... Times are tough. I spent the past year living in the worst city in the world to be looking for such a job. I have since moved back home and am on the hunt again. Not fun at all for 'new' grads.


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