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Social Mobility

A disproportionate number of senior roles in our industry are occupied by those from wealthy backgrounds. 

The Bridge Group’s report ‘Who Gets Ahead and How’ shows that across the economy, 52% of UK CEOs come from professional backgrounds – as defined by parental occupation at age 14. In financial services, this figure rises to 89%, putting the industry significantly out of touch with the communities it serves. This compares to 37% of the UK’s working population.

As data collection grows, so will our understanding of the extent of the problem. However, we know for certain that by failing to address socio-economic diversity and social mobility, our industry risks missing out on the valuable perspectives and potential of a vast section of the society it seeks to serve. 

Our 5-year goals:

  • All member firms to collect socio-economic data for their people, both entry-level and existing, and to track promotions. 
  • All member firms to support one or more graduate/school leaver recruitment programmes focused on socio-economic diversity. 
  • At least 80% of interns, school leavers, and graduates to have attended state school for the duration of their secondary education (ages 11-16).

Awareness of socio-economic diversity and social mobility needs to grow. Here we aim to provide practical advice and support for member firms and ensure that both ‘getting in’ (entry-level access) and ‘getting on’ (progression) are not influenced by privilege.

A major goal of ours is to avoid falling prey to diversity ‘top trumps’. As social mobility overlaps with so many other diversity traits, collaboration is crucial to creating the inclusive and diverse workforces we all need and deserve. 

Workstream Videos

Moneyball - Monty Python and Social Mobility – Diversity Project Annual Event

SEB in finance report launch

Member Quotes

"Ensuring that everybody has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential irrespective of their upbringing and socio-economic background is critical. It is an area that has been largely overlooked by the industry until recently, resulting in under representation and missing out on a huge talent pool. I am delighted that the Diversity Project has made this area a priority and am privileged to support James, David, Lindsay and the whole workstream in assisting the industry drive the changes needed."

Jon Terry, DP Board Member

Our Partners

Logo for Progress Together Logo for City of London Corp. Logo for UN Global Compact Network UK Logo for Social Mobility Foundation Logo for Social Mobility Commission logo Logo for CityHive Logo for UpReach Logo for Bridge Group

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