New research — Supporting careers of LGBTQIA+ students in Australian universities
A research team led by Zhou Jiang from Flinders University has found that despite large numbers of LGBTQIA+ students in higher education in Australia, this cohort has been historically excluded from existing defined equity cohorts. Currently, little is known about how LGBTQIA+ individuals in universities are being supported to achieve better career outcomes.
Findings from the NCSEHE-funded study indicate the importance of:
- additional or explicit career guidance for gender and/or sexuality diverse students
- visible role models in the workplace, and specific mentoring for LGBTQI+ students
- visibly diversity-friendly workplaces
- consideration of the whole person and intersectionality
- supporting gender and/or sexuality diverse students to be their authentic selves.
Outcomes also highlighted that self-acceptance was found as a significant and positive predictor of a number of factors related to participants’ career preparation.
Recommendations for universities and governments include:
- establishing specific and tailored career guidance and support programs for gender and/or sexuality diverse students
- fostering positive role models; LGBTQIA+ alumni mentoring programs, or partnership with existing programs
- specific career and advocacy resources regarding safe workplaces and authenticity
- early intervention and support for students in insecure accommodation
- implementation of mechanisms for ongoing evaluation
- formal recognition of LGBTQIA+ students as an equity cohort in higher education policy.
Read the full report, Supporting careers of LGBTQIA+ students in Australian universities
This research was conducted under the NCSEHE Research Grants Program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.