Individuals from working class backgrounds who join the UK’s top professions earn on average 16% less than their colleagues doing the same job but who hail from a more privileged background.
This shocking fact revealed by this week’s Oven-Ready HR guest Dr Sam Friedman highlights the long shadow still cast on our life outcomes in 21st century Britain. Why in a supposedly meritocratic society, should where you went to school and how you speak determine your earning potential?
Dr Sam Friedman is a commissioner on the Social Mobility Commission and professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. He has published widely on class, culture and social mobility and recently co-authored “The Class Ceiling; why it pays to be privileged.”
The question of class is a hot topic in HR. Just this month, accountancy giant KPMG announced plans to increase the number of partners and directors with a working class background from 23% to 29%.
In this interview, we cover:
- Why is there a class pay gap?
- Why is there a lack of working-class people in senior roles?
- Why class is a conscious as opposed to an unconscious bias; a mis-recognition of talent and how this impacts upon the recruitment and development of talent
- What are the dominant behavioural codes and cultural touchpoints displayed by those from a privileged background
- Why being knowledgeable about cricket isn’t a guarantee of competence
- Why working class individuals continue to feel like imposters in the workplace.
This is a fascinating look into the UK’s class system and how it plays out at work. Surely in a modern society, where you went to school shouldn’t impact your pay packet, should it?