Really interesting report about the challenges faced by working class candidates wanting to break into sectors regarded as elite. Research from the London School of Economics suggests that a working class candidate is likely to lose out to a middle class one – even if they have a first class degree and their competitor a 2:2.
Yet more food for thought in the diversity debate…It would appear that you could be the most talented individual, but if your accent doesn’t sound quite right certain employers won’t let you in. According to the report, the reason for not taking forward applications from working class people can be that they lack 'polish’. I find the words of one of the interviewees a much more compelling summary:
“Sometimes [hiring managers] think about a candidate and think ‘I like this guy…[we] have things in common…reminds me of myself, I’ll take him on'. That’s where the problem comes from…When they look at me, no-one thinks about themselves.”
Unconscious bias. In a nutshell. I did a quick search around this topic after watching this report, and found another, similar one with a headline stating that poorer graduates were missing out on jobs in banking because of their clothes and accents. It dates back to 2016.
So we all say diversity is a good thing, we all say we want to encourage greater social mobility. But are we doing enough to affect change - really?
According to research by the London School of Economics, if you’re a working class graduate with a first class degree you’re less likely to land an elite job than a middle class graduate with a 2:2.