Most of us cannot move for diversity, equity and inclusion strategies in our workplaces, but one thing is often missing: class. When you come from an economically disadvantaged background colleagues often can’t tell, yet the workplace can feel like a hostile environment. How can managers and companies help their colleagues and employees to thrive and advance, especially when many people may not want to be open about their backgrounds at work?
This episode of Working It starts with Sophie, a young entrant to the TV industry, a sector once rife with nepotism and unpaid internships. She got her break via Creative Access, a UK non-profit that supports young people into internships and jobs in the creative industries. Host Isabel Berwick also hears from Annette King, who started out as a “working-class girl from Swindon” and is now UK chief executive of advertising group Publicis. What does her experience tell us?
Finally, Isabel talks to Naomi Rovnick, FT markets reporter, about her route into journalism from a non-traditional background, why “masking” socio-economic background is so common as a way to fit in with what Isabel/Naomi calls “skiing and wine” chat, and why collecting better data will help us break the class ceiling.
Lex assesses class diversity among UK professions, including efforts by the BBC to change things
The FT’s Emma Jacobs explores efforts to boost class diversity in acting
FT columnist Simon Kuper on how Oxford university shaped the UK’s ruling elite
Useful employer toolkit on socio-economic diversity and inclusion, from the UK Social Mobility Commission
Advisory firm KPMG is publishing socio-economic pay gap data for its staff, based on parental occupation
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Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
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