Scots finance wants more working class in top jobs

Louise Powrie

Leading recruitment firm Core-Asset Consulting has joined forces with a UK government backed organisation to help combat the socio-economic imbalance of the Scottish financial services sector.

Core-Asset will collaborate with the membership body Progress Together on “levelling the playing field for all within the financial services industry.”

The move comes after a detailed study by a government commissioned taskforce revealed the UK financial services sector to have one of the worst socio-economic diversity rates for employees within leading roles.

It was found that 89% of senior UK finance sector leaders are from higher socio-economic backgrounds, and people from lower or intermediate socio-economic backgrounds – measured through parental occupation at the age of 14 – make up 53% of junior employees in UK financial services, but only 11% of senior employees.

Core-Asset Consulting Louise Powrie said: “Socio-economic diversity presents businesses with a huge opportunity to increase their profits and source a pool of talent with untapped potential.

“We are partnering with Progress Together to help our clients from around the UK to understand the importance of collating data and implementing best practise to encourage diversity and maximise their profitability while they do so.

“The financial services sector has been singled-out for its lack of diversity and inclusion within senior positions, and so we hope our partnership and webinar with Progress Together will inspire our clients to adopt these progressive methods and data moving forward, and change the perception of the industry.”

The research also found 45% of senior leaders in financial and professional services are white men from higher socio-economic backgrounds; while only 1% of senior leaders are ethnic minority women from working class backgrounds.

Yet, businesses which have already adopted an emphasis on social mobility have reaped the benefits of a more diverse and integrated workplace, with profits 1.4 times greater than their competitors.

Progress Together CEO Sophie Hulm said: “There is proven evidence that embracing a more balanced and inclusive workplace will enhance productivity and innovation.

“Socio-economic data can provide crucial information as to where a business is thriving; and needs improvement.

“By teaming up with Core-Asset, we’re not only hoping to spark the discussions on the lack of socio-economic diversity within our industry but we also want the partnership to become a vehicle for positive change.”

A webinar hosted by Core-Asset will take place on April 25 and will feature a discussion from Diversity Equity Inclusion and Resourcing Director at Aviva, Jonathan Briggs, detailing how data has already helped the insurance giant improve its social mobility and increase its diversity.

Those interested in joining the webinar can do so by registering here.

Progress Together is a membership organisation which has been endorsed by HSBC, NatWest, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and AXA, among others.