The report, produced by The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at the London School of Economics and Political Science, describes this favouritism as “mirrortocracy”, or the privilege of being in the “in-group” which affords opportunities beyond a person’s merit. Seventeen of the women interviewed (38%) felt that people around them had been hired or promoted based on “mirrortocracy”, and six said cultural identity and social class played a determining role in hiring and progression, beyond skills and output. Pay is also an issue: 27 of the women felt they were paid less than comparable peers and four reported pay gaps of 30%. Eighteen women felt that their organisation needed to completely change its culture to create environments that allowed diverse talent to thrive. Four explicitly mentioned that HR teams lacked the diversity needed to understand the underlying issues.Measurable actions are needed to improve inclusion of black women in finance, professional services and technology firms, many of whom feel their careers are stagnating due to ‘mirrortocracy’. This is according to research into the experiences of 44 black women at all stages of their careers, which found many had been overlooked for promotions by managers who favoured people who were “like them”.