Socio-economic diversity taskforce established

An independent taskforce, commissioned by HM Treasury and BEIS, and run by City of London Corporation, was launched yesterday. It will focus on boosting representation at the top of the financial and professional services sectors.

The taskforce was launched alongside new research, commissioned by the City of London and drawing on data from eight major employers in the financial services sector. The research finds that:

  • 89% of senior roles in financial services are held by people from higher socio-economic backgrounds, compared to 25% in the working population as a whole;
  • Among junior employees, 47% were from a higher socio-economic background by parental occupation;
  • Employees from less privileged backgrounds take 25% longer to progress, despite no evidence of poorer performance;
  • Just under half (42.7%) of senior roles were occupied by white men who attended an independent or selective state school.

To tackle the lack of socio-economic diversity at all levels, the taskforce will:

  1. Lead an industry consultation on how government, regulators and sector bodies can incentivise firms to take action to improve socio-economic diversity;
  2. Create a membership body for financial services, where employers can benchmark against each other and share best practice on delivering socio-economic diversity at senior levels;
  3. Produce a productivity analysis, to build the business case for increasing socio-economic diversity at senior levels in financial and professional services.

John Glen, City Minister and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“We’re entering a new chapter for UK financial services and it’s vital that firms have the right leadership to grasp the opportunities ahead. That means taking action to ensure that talented people from all backgrounds and parts of the country can reach their full potential. By breaking down socio-economic barriers to progression, our financial services sector will become more innovative and competitive, and help to level up the UK.”

Read more on the City of London’s website:

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