When employing people at universities in the UK they like to be fair. They go out of their way to promote that they don’t discriminate, and will hire the best candidate for the job, regardless of gender, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation.
In order to keep track of what kind of people apply, and who is hired and who gets not, they employ a monitoring system. This basically means that whenever you apply for a job at a UK university they make you fill in a form where you have to indicate such details as your gender, ethnic background, nationality, marital status, religion and sometimes they also include sexual orientation.
I have no problem filling in these forms, but whenever I come to the section on the form that says sexual orientation, it always makes me feel a bit weird. I am out, and I generally have no problem with people knowing that I am gay. However, it is not something I would normally mention in a job interview.
This form is of course anonymous, or at least it is for administrative purposes only, and it is not supposed to be seen by the hiring committee. Still, every time I check the gay/lesbian box on the form I cannot help but wonder if this is going to affect my chances of getting the job.
Is this paranoia, or could the form designed to protect me actually do me harm? And if the latter were true, would I really want a job they would not have given me if they had known I was gay?