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The Wired Sussex Diversity Toolkit

We all know the value in attracting diverse talent and creating inclusive workplaces, where everyone can thrive.

We can see the great work that is already being done by our members and the ambition for us to collectively improve. 
To help aid, support and celebrate this, here are some resources, case studies and best practice, with special mention to the volunteer groups in our community.

Let’s work together to make our region the best place for anyone to have a fulfilling career in digital.

Recruitment and Retention

What Am I Allowed to Say in a Job Advert?

As an employer, you want to make sure that talented people from under-represented groups feel welcome in your company. But it can be confusing to know how to best reach the broadest range of potential applicants. Even something as straightforward as the wording of your job advert can be challenging. 

We work within the UK Equality Law of 2010. This law explains what employers can – and can't – say and do when recruiting, to ensure a level playing field and grow a workforce that better reflects us all. 

This law describes the ‘protected characteristics’ which include: age, disability, gender, gender assignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, pregnancy and maternity, religious belief or lack thereof and sexuality.

Recruiting, you can take positive action but not ‘positive discrimination’, which is unlawful. 

This means you can expressly encourage – by telling applicants that you welcome – applications from those protected categories. This works. It has been proven to have a positive impact on rates of application by qualified people from under-represented groups. 

For example, simply mentioning that you encourage applications from people in those protected categories does make people from those groups apply. 

There is no evidence to suggest it discourages anyone else, so adding encouraging language in your job advert helps everyone.

Here is some sample copy for your next job advert.

“We particularly welcome applicants from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.”

“We would especially welcome interest from women, older candidates, LGBTQ and those from working class, black and minority ethnic backgrounds.”     
What you can’t do is specifically give someone an interview based on those protected characteristics, any more than you could exclude that person for those reasons. 

However, there is a special legal exemption for applicants with disabilities. This means you can go further in that case, for example, you can guarantee to interview every applicant with the required essential skills who has a disability. But that exemption doesn’t apply to the other characteristics such as race, age or gender.

Wired Sussex will always champion inclusivity and help our members recruit the best talent from the most diverse range of backgrounds. For us, it’s important: by expanding the talent pool, everyone wins.

More resources for recruitment & retention

Top tips on recruiting for diversity [Article - 5 min read]
How to write inclusive job ads  [Video - 16 mins]
How to create gender neutral job adverts [Article - 3 min read]
Flexible working tips to retain staff [Video - 15 min]
What you need to know when taking on an Intern [Article - 5 min read]
What’s the Brighton Living Wage? [Article - 2 min read]
How diverse is your team? [Video - 2 mins]
What is the government ‘Access to Work’ scheme and who is it for? [Video - 25 mins]
Guidance for employing disabled people and people with health conditions [Article - 15 min read]
Why train as a Mental Health First Aider? [Article - 4 min read]

Diverse Stock Images and illustrations

Diversity for Events

Codebar have some brilliant resources you can use for inspiration when it comes to events, including their code of conduct for all, as well as their speaker guide. 

And if you'd like to get more women, people of colour or other people at your events, Rifa Thorpe-Tracey has published a blog with her top three things you can do to improve diversity.

Local groups supporting diversity

Codebar Brighton promotes diversity in tech through their free bi-weekly coding workshops - for LGBTQ+, women and people of colour only.

DINT is a free online community set up to make connections between people who care about diversity and inclusion in tech.

Women in Games Brighton for women working in games.

Spring Forward is a festival for and by women in tech, every March celebrating International Women’s Day.

SheSays Brighton helps women in tech & design through inspiring events. Part of global SheSays network.

Brighton companies - Diversity Statements

Legal and General

Beyond Brighton - more resources


If you want to understand how tech can be complicit in perpetuating systems of oppression:

  • Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Noble
  • Rage Inside The Machine, Rob Smith
  • Technically Wrong, Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Social Media tips:

Follow a spread of race, gender (expression, identity), orientation, physical ability, neurodiversity, nationality, socioeconomic status. 

Build a broader network for recommendations: 

In creative and tech fields, we have ample resources for this:

With thanks to Tatiana Mac


More resources you might find useful:

A handy glossary of terms [Article - 5 min read]

Diversity in the start-up sector [Article - 6 min read]

Why Women Stopped Coding [Podcast - 4 min listen]

Why and How to Make your UX Research Practice More Inclusive [Practical Guide - 40min]

Tech Nation's Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit [Practical Guide - 1hr+]
Actionable insights and guidance to help founders build diverse and inclusive companies

About the author

Rifa Thorpe-Tracey

Rifa is an award-winning coach, consultant, and connector for the digital and creative industries. She advocates for diversity and inclusion for women and people of colour.

View more posts by Rifa Thorpe-Tracey