Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Class and Social Economic Diversity in UK financial and professional services


It is fascinating to see that a new taskforce commissioned by HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and involving the City of London Corporation, has been established to boost socio-economic diversity in UK financial and professional services sectors. 

Socio-economic status was due to be included, but then removed, as a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equalities Act. 

The Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission have found that half (48%) of FTSE 350 chief executives educated in the UK attended private school (compared with 7% nationally).  

I think that nearly everyone would be uncomfortable with this statistic. 

This is not about bashing anyone who went to private school

We all should be concerned about the lack of diversity in our company boards but we should not forget class. 

If a company had a board which truly reflected, for example, gender and race in the UK, then great. However, if they all went to boarding school before then studying at Oxbridge? 

Is that really diverse? Will this challenge the danger of "Group think"? 

Hats off (and caps?)  to the the Treasury, BEIS and the City of London for launching this taskforce. 

I hope to contribute. 

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