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.
Socio-economic diversity is lacking in the Investment and Savings Industry, particularly in front office and senior roles. By helping DP member firms to tackle social mobility and address the benefits of less visible aspects of diversity, we aim to make the industry more inclusive and more considered when valuing and harnessing diverse talent.
Our 2023 objectives are:
- Make meaningful progress in helping member firms to collect socio-economic data:
– Increase the number of member firms collecting the socio-economic data points recommended by the Social Mobility Commission
– Help to support member firms in their data collection efforts via shared learnings,
- Increase the number of socio-economic/ social mobility employee groups within member firms:
– Provide member firms with the tools and resources to help set-up and operate social mobility employee groups
– Finalise and publish toolkits for firms at different stages of the journey, and of different sizes
– Provide presenters and resources for employee group events
– Include “case studies” in content marketing plan
- Increase the focus on awareness and intersectionality:
– Highlight how focusing on socio-economic diversity and social mobility can positively help to address other diversity characteristics
– Encourage and empower employees from lower socio-economic and less advantaged backgrounds to become visible “role models” and share the intersectional nature of their stories
– Continue to collaborate with other Diversity Project workstreams. 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.