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Date updated: 20/01/2023
Breaking the Class Barrier Recommendations Report PDF (8MB)
Date submitted: 29/11/22

Breaking the Class Barrier Recommendations Report 

Providing government, regulators, sector bodies and employers with a five-point pathway intended to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels in UK financial and professional services. 

It's been two years in the making, and now for the first time, every business in the financial and professional services sector has unfiltered access to the ground-breaking Five Point Pathway to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels.

With every Pathway recommendation designed to improve socio-economic diversity at senior levels, businesses in the sector can expect to boost financial and cultural benefits, through progressing stellar talent.

We can break the class barrier and create a sector that attracts the best and most diverse talent, and supports their long-term success. Don’t get left behind. 

Chair of the City of London Corporation-led Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce, Catherine McGuinness, said:

“It is vital that UK financial and professional services firms act now to enable people from all backgrounds to rise to the top. Boosting socio-economic diversity will enable firms to boost productivity, retention levels and innovation. Using this practical guidance, we can bring about change, ensuring a fairer and more equitable sector for all.”

The taskforce is also calling for UK financial services firms of all sizes to a to join the newly launched membership body, Progress Together. The body is the first of its kind to focus on progression and retention to improve socio-economic diversity at senior levels in the financial services sector. 

Co-Chair of the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce and Chair of Progress Together, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, said:

“Socio-economic diversity is key to all sectors. It is vital that firms take action to create a more equitable pathway to the top for people from all backgrounds. I am excited to continue this great work as Chair of Progress Together so we maximise the potential of talented people and boost productivity.”

Co-Chair of the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce, Andy Haldane, said:

“We cannot grow as a country unless people grow. For too long, personal growth has been constrained by people’s socio-economic background. Today’s recommendations signal a break from the past, with financial and professional services playing a leading role in unleashing the potential in people, organisations and the economy at large.”

Co-Chair of the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce, Sandra Wallace, said:

”The industry’s willingness to collaborate on tackling the barriers to promote people from lower socio-economic backgrounds into senior levels is unprecedented. It marks a long awaited shift in the priorities of our sector and recognises the business and moral imperative to change. I’m immensely proud of the industry’s response to this pressing need. Now it’s time to turn our words into action, and instigate the real change required to transform our sector into a beacon for inclusivity in the workplace.”