Published 4th July 2021, Last Updated 21st July 2021
“It’s ok. It’s only desirable. We definitely welcome applications from people who can’t fulfil that requirement”.
This is a common response when we challenge people on why an unspecified degree qualification is listed in the person spec. It demonstrates the huge power imbalance in recruitment, and the lack of understanding from hiring managers as to how their job ads can come across.
It also shows a massive amount of privilege to tell someone they should “apply anyway!” when every part of the job ad is screaming out to them that they are not welcome – or that the organisation sees them as “less desirable”.
In recent weeks a number of people from across the charity sector who didn’t go to university have shared their thoughts on why moving discriminatory degree requirements to the “desirable” section doesn’t magically make them more inclusive:
Amy Eden shared this comment on a recent LinkedIn discussion about #NonGraduatesWelcome:
Jo McGuinness shared the following thoughts in response to a recruiter defending the inclusion of a degree requirement because it was “only desirable”
We are really grateful to Amy and Jo for sharing their thoughts on this.