Finance industry urged to hire more working class managers

Catherine McGuinness poses for a photograph in London, Britain, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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LONDON, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Financial services companies should set “stretching targets” for appointing people from working class backgrounds to senior positions, a UK government-sponsored report said on Thursday.

The finance industry is already making efforts to appoint more women, Black and ethnic minorities on to boards and into roles like chief executives and chairs but targets for socio-economic background have featured less in corporate diversity efforts.

A taskforce commissioned by the government and led by the City of London Corporation surveyed more than 9,000 employees across 49 financial and related professional firms and found the sector is out of kilter with society.

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The taskforce said that 49% of all levels of seniority in the finance industry were from a professional background, rising to 64% for senior leaders. For the UK population as a whole, 37% of working people are from a professional background.

Socio-economic background can amplify other inequalities, particularly related to ethnicity and gender, it said.

Working class employees, who are also female or an ethnic minority, are even less likely to hold senior level positions and less likely to feel included in the workplace.

White men from a professional background account for 45% of…

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