Law Society backs calls to smash City’s ‘class ceiling’ by boosting social mobility
The Law Society today backed calls to break the “class ceiling” by boosting social mobility in the City.
The solicitors’ body came out in support of the City of London’s push towards 50 per cent of senior leaders in the financial and professional services sector coming from non-professional backgrounds.
The Law Society said it welcomed the report from the City’s Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce which sets out a five-point plan to increase social mobility in the UK’s financial hub.
The report calls on City firms to begin setting targets, collecting data, and publishing their findings, with a view to achieving the 50 per cent target by the end of the next decade.
The City paper also says companies should begin assigning senior leaders responsible for socio-economic diversity and start taking initiatives to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels.
Almost two-thirds of senior leaders in the UK’s top law firms, accounting firms, and financial services companies come from professional family backgrounds, compared to 37 per cent of the UK population, figures from the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce show.
By contrast, just 21 per cent of senior leaders in the financial and professional services sectors come from families in which their highest parent worked in a manual labour job, compared to 39 per cent of Britons, the research shows.
Law Society president Lubna Shuja said “where you start in life should not determine where you end up,” as she warned “the picture of socio-economic diversity in the profession shows there is much more to do.”
The report comes after the Law Society’s former president I. Stephanie Boyce in August warned a lack of social mobility in the UK’s legal and professional services sectors is threatening the country’s growth.
In February, a report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) showed privately educated lawyers fill the top ranks of the City’s corporate law firms.