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What can I do if I think I am being denied equal opportunities to progress at work?
If you believe you have been denied equal opportunities at work, discuss it with your trade union rep in the first instance, to see if you really do have a case before taking any further action. Managers are likely to be defensive if they are accused of flouting equal opportunities rules, so it is best to go armed with hard evidence of questionable practice, not just hearsay, innuendo or a personal sense of injustice.
Many employers believe in equal opportunities, but are not necessarily acutely aware of how unchallenged prejudices, old boys’ networks, blinkered views, cliques, in-crowds, cronyism and corruption can all get in the way of their providing equal chances for all. Trade union representatives can help keep the pressure on to make sure the right practices are being followed. Further advice and information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (helpline – 0808 800 0082) and campaigning organisation Stonewall (tel: 08000 50 20 20) which supports members of the LGBT community.