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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.

Posted 3 March 2022 Posted in General, LGBTQIA+