10 Careers That Let You Fight for Equality

Jun 05, 2012 -
When it comes to work and discrimination, it doesn’t matter what career field you’re in: sooner or later, you may run into a situation where you’ve got stand up or speak out against prejudice. So whether you’re defending a co-worker, organizing an education session for your office or advocating for a policy change, you can incorporate the fight for equality into almost any line of work. However, some career choices are particularly well designed to bring about change. And since June is LGBT Pride Month, a time to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights, here are 10 jobs that allow you to dedicate your professional career to fighting discrimination:

1. EEO Specialist

As an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, you evaluate companies and organizations to make sure they comply with equal opportunity laws. Your main goal is to make sure every jobseeker receives a fair shot at a position. Average salary: $61,000 Job Outlook (2010-2020): 15 percent growth (that’s about average)

2. Teacher

Whether leading a college class on the psychology of discrimination or teaching first graders about making friends with everyone, being a teacher gives you a special ability to discourage prejudice and help shape open minds. Average salary: $52,000 Job Outlook: 17 percent growth (about average)

3. Volunteer Coordinator

In this position, you rally and organize people who want to join the equality movement. Through your work, you enable people to come together and funnel their joint power into action that’s greater than the sum of its individual parts. (And by the way, that’s coordinating volunteers, not volunteering as a coordinator.) Average salary: $58,000 Job Outlook: 27 percent growth (faster than average)

4. HR Manager

By hiring and training employees with a variety of experiences and backgrounds, you can actively create a work environment that’s strengthened through the diversity of its team members. Average salary: $99,000 Job Outlook: 13 percent growth (about average)

5. Journalist

Wield your pen to expose discriminatory activities, spread accurate information, or share articles about inspiring individuals or organizations who are fighting the good fight. Average salary: $36,000 Job Outlook: 6 percent growth (slower than average)

6. Anti-Discrimination Lawyer

Whether you work on small cases to enforce anti-discrimination laws or major lawsuits in front of the Supreme Court on civil liberties, you can put your legal talents to good use in this position. Average salary: $133,000 Job Outlook: 10 percent growth (about average)

7. Politician

Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Through policymaking or leadership, you can set examples or precedents to encourage equal treatment for each constituent you represent. Average salary: Highly varied Job Outlook: Little or no change

8. Non-Profit Development Director

You’re in charge of bringing in the big bucks that your non-profit organization uses to raise awareness, create campaigns and unite people around your cause. Average salary: $93,000 Job Outlook: 15 percent growth (about average)

9. Political Lobbyist

Use your power of persuasion to influence politicians on behalf of your cause. Your words and actions can help shape laws and policies to strengthen equal rights and protect people against discrimination. Average salary: $58,000 Job Outlook: 21 percent growth (faster than average)

10. Documentary Filmmaker

As documentaries like Bully and Miss Representation show us, film can be a powerful medium to raise awareness and open minds. Your cinematic work can help shed light or raise funds for your cause of choice. Average salary: $68,000 Job Outlook: 11 percent growth (about average) All salary and job outlook data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What other jobs might help you push for equality? Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover careers they’ll love and build strong, successful futures. Join the conversation on Twitter at @InsideJobs!