London’s financial sector is required to address class prejudice

London’s Square Mile watchdog has told banks and other professional and financial services firms that at least half of their senior leaders must be from the working class or have an economic background. lower socioeconomic status by 2030.

In a report on Wednesday, City Corporation of London says voice and background still determine career growth in the financial sector as only 36% of senior leadership positions are held by working-class or background employees lower socioeconomic status.

Such roles are defined as at the board, executive or partner level and two levels below.

The City of London’s Socio-Economic Diversity Task Force, commissioned by the Department of Finance and the business division by 2020, says the target of at least 50 per cent is to ensure class diversity across sectors. leading company in the entire field.

“Where does an employee come from, what their voice sounds like, or what job their parents do, no,” said Catherine McGuinness, co-chair of the task force and former chief policy officer for the corporation. should determine how far they advance in professional and financial services. branch.”

By 2030, the task force also expects all organizations in both sectors to begin collecting data on workers’ socioeconomic backgrounds.

The group’s report shows that although about half of financial services employees have a non-professional background – defined as working or middle class – they advance through companies more slowly than they do. richer colleagues.

According to the data used by the report, employees with a non-professional background are likely to be paid up to £17,500 less a year than colleagues with a professional background.

The report warns that the UK has one of the poorest rates of social mobility in the developed world, meaning that “people from working class backgrounds do not have the same access as those from overseas. Professionals and those who already have an economic advantage tend to come out on top.”

Report of the task force following an industry-wide consultation. McGuinness said she “didn’t expect our output to be easy to read, nor that our suggestions would be universally welcomed”.

The task force made a series of recommendations for companies, regulators and governments to meet in 2030. These recommendations include setting and recommending regulatory mandate targets for the year. promoting working-class representation in senior roles and delegating responsibility to executives to ensure change takes place.

Andy Haldane, former chief economist for the Bank of England and co-chair of the task force, said: “For too long, personal growth has been constrained by people’s socioeconomic background. Today’s recommendations signal a break with the past.”

The task force, which worked with more than 100 industry representatives on the report, will review the industry-wide targets for 2025 to ensure they remain close to reality.

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