Call for articles: Phoenix, February 2021 – Race equality in careers and employability

16 November 2020

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, the February 2021 issue of Phoenix will focus on the critical role of university careers services in improving race equality and equity of opportunity for Black, Asian and minority or multi-ethnic (BAME) students and graduates.

Our aim is to profile existing approaches and new initiatives that seek to address some of the issues that have been raised in relation to the attraction, access, participation, representation, retention and outcomes of BAME students and graduates.

Article proposals

We are now inviting articles that:

  • Reflect on how BLM has spurred institution-wide action to tackle race equality, reduce gaps and eliminate existing inequalities:
  • What roles are careers services playing as part of broader institutional plans and targets, for example through involvement in working parties, committees and groups
  • How has the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities affected/driven your institution/careers service response?

  • Outline how careers services have changed their practices to be more inclusive and to develop solutions to racial inequality:
  • What has worked, what has been added or adapted/removed from existing approaches?
  • What language are you using as part of discussions about race and in targeted work with BAME students and graduates? How have you and other institutional stakeholders arrived at terminology/acronyms to describe people from different ethnic backgrounds with multiple identities?
  • How has the way you market your services changed?

  • Demonstrate how university careers services are using data and an evidenced-based approach to:
  • Inform the delivery of targeted initiatives and resources
  • Offer differentiated provision as part of Access and Participation Plans (APP)
  • Understand the intersectionality of race inequality and disadvantage to address the needs of minority groups
  • Inform employer engagement strategies (e.g. influencing/responding to changing recruitment trends, including unconscious bias assessment and selection methods; demonstrating and evidencing a commitment to diversity through engagement with BAME entrepreneurs, businesses, mentors, alumni, leadership programmes; advocating meaningful engagement with BAME students and graduates)
  • Influence key stakeholders to consider action that addresses racial inequalities in the student experience 

  • Share personal introspection, operational/strategic approaches and perspectives on threading equality, diversity and inclusion through careers and employability work:
  • The practitioner perspective: how has BLM and your involvement in the delivery of APPs made you reflect on your own i) practices and ways of working, ii) biases, iii) understanding of race inequalities and students’ experiences, iv) professional development, v) engagement with BAME students and graduates?
  • The senior leader: how has BLM and the under-representation of BAME staff or student voices in careers service delivery driven your leadership/strategic perspective?

  • Highlight the ‘distance travelled’ and outline where further work and interventions are still needed to demonstrate progress
  • Profiling more considered practices and initiatives that have evolved over recent weeks and months and comparing these to previous approaches

  • Include examples of cross-institutional collaborative activity through active engagement with:
  • Professional services (for example, wellbeing, alumni, WP, recruitment)
  • Academic colleagues
  • Students’ Unions
  • Students, to ensure inclusivity in capturing lived experiences and in harnessing the student voice

This issue will also introduce the AGCAS Equality and Diversity Advisory Group, drawing on the aims and objectives of the group and outlining the group’s plans and areas for future work.

Next steps

Please email Gemma Green by Monday 30 November 2020 with a brief outline of your proposed article. You will then be allocated an editor from the Phoenix Editorial Group, who will offer full support throughout the writing and submission process.

Word count

The following word counts are intended as a guideline:

  • 600 words for a one-page article
  • 900 words for a double-page spread

Key deadlines

The deadline for article proposals is Monday 30 November 2020.

The deadline for submission of final articles is Monday 4 January 2021.

Find out more

For further information about the next issue or about writing for Phoenix, please contact Gemma Green, Head of External Relations.