Report Reveals Diversity Problem With Investment Banks

  • 6-Sep-2016
Row of young people from diverse backgrounds

Large-scale companies try to avoid the problem of equality and diversity as much as possible to protect their employees.

However, a new report has revealed investment banks are failing to hire employees from diverse backgrounds.

Earlier this week (September 5th), the Social Mobility Commission published findings that showed these firms favour candidates that come from middle or higher-income families over those with less advantaged upbringings.

Despite 82 per cent of children in the UK attending a non-selective free school, according to a 2014 Sutton Trust report, more than a third of new investment bankers are recruited from a fee-paying school instead.

Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission, said: “While there are some banks that are doing excellent work in reducing these barriers, there are still too many that need to wake up and realise that it makes sound business to recruit people from all backgrounds.”

Researchers from the Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Birmingham discovered investment bankers prefer to hire employees that have attended the best six or seven universities in the country, as well as those who have had previous work experience at the firms – something that is reserved for university-leavers who typically have internal connections at the companies.

Managers were also found to favour candidates who have the speech, accent, behaviour and dress style of traditional bankers, discriminating against interviewees who do not fit the mould.

This information could be useful to businesses that have a high turnover of staff as well. Even though they may not have a problem in recruiting those from diverse backgrounds, they might have an issue with providing everyone with the same opportunities once they are in the workplace.

An exit survey will identify key areas where your company may be failing, including issues concerning gender, age, race, religion or social background discrimination.