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Does the “class ceiling” effect the ability to achieve?

In a recent research paper, commissioned by the former education secretary Justine Greening, it was suggested that 60% of workers believed that being from an economically disadvantaged background equated to having a more challenging experience when trying to advance their careers!

Justine Greening is the founder of an organisation called the Social Mobility Pledge, which encourages employers to reconsider their recruitment processes, to eliminate class prejudice and create a more level playing field. Growing up in working class Rotherham, Justine believes that enabling people to climb the careers ladder, regardless of their social background, is beneficial for communities, business and the national economy.

The “

” is an issue which seems to have strengthened in recent years, with millennials from poor backgrounds finding it more challenging to progress in their careers than previous generations.

There has long been a perception that elitist jobs in law, medicine and journalism are dominated by the socially privileged, a perception which is backed by statistical evidence - but the class ceiling addresses more than this. Whilst a person from a working class background may access elite occupations, their level of success is frequently less than peers from middle class backgrounds. And the pay gap between these groups only further supports these claims.

So what type of issues are preventing hard working professionals from smashing the class ceiling? Here are our top 3!

1. The Bank Of Mum and Dad!

People from affluent backgrounds have the benefit of a financial cushion, also know as the Bank of Mum and Dad. The helps individuals take on unpaid or low paid internships leading to high paid roles, an opportunity which largely disqualifies those with limited capital.

2. People Like People Who Are Like Themselves….

Large accountancy and law firms often have a sponsorship type arrangement where senior employees choose to mentor someone younger! These senior roles are dominated by middle class white men and when you factor in the fact that people like to associate with people who have similar mind sets to themselves… see the problem.

3. Unwritten Code Of Behaviour

There is a whole host of nuanced behaviour which may mark out an individuals background such as how they choose to dress or when and where they swear. The rules are unspoken but the more socially privileged seem to know them, making it harder for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to fit in.

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