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A class act

07/21/2009

We have a class issue here in the UK.

We have serious issues with class and with movement. People will tell me that it doesn’t matter what family you were born into, that you can progress and change.

That is just not true.

I’ll repeat it for the hard of reading. We have a class issue.

Let me put it another way,

75% of Judges have been privately educated
70% of Barristers have been privately educated
70% of Finance Directors of major companies have been privately educated

That’s against a UK average of less than 10%

We have a class issue.

People will point at the odd one who made it (Richard Branson is normally the quoted example or Sir Alan Sugar….Baron Sugar?).

One swallow does not make a summer.

This is not about the rich versus the poor, or the “haves” versus the “have nots”. This is about the ruling elite, a clique, an exclusive club, versus the rest of us.

This is about recruiting and promoting people who are like you and only people who are like you. Sometimes its out of ignorance, sometimes its out of fear of difference, often it’s out of a sense of duty to friends and family. Trust me, I see it every day.

There is a glimmer of hope. Alan Milburn has today published his report on “Fair Access to the Professions”. I’ve read it (oh yes I have) and it makes a world of sense.

Its not law, it’s just a report. But the more of us who jump up and down, who make a noise about this. The more of us who tackle this issue head on in our own places of work. The more there is a likelihood that something is going to change.

We have a class issue in the UK. There I said it. And the sky didn’t fall in.

I just hope I don’t get a speeding ticket, because the chances of getting off now are slim……….

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sayya26 permalink
    07/22/2009 14:17

    Seriously? I didn't realize this existed in England. It's sad though. I mean I guess in an ideal world you'd be rewarded based on merit- not privilege.

  2. HRD permalink
    07/23/2009 07:11

    @Sayya – Unfortunately so, these are all legit statistics. There are still a lot of strongholds that are only really open to the elite. Its not overt, but still exists.

    Hopefully this will continue to change with time.

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