22 June 2018
Working class people continue to face barriers to career success, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 people commissioned by Justine Greening, former Education Secretary, found that around half of UK workers believe a regional accent and working class background are obstacles to workplace progression.
Nearly a half of those who live in London said they had been held back in their career because they had a regional accent, and a minority of leadership roles are filled by people from working class backgrounds in most industries.
The research, the results of which were published in the Guardian, found that one in four people across the UK said having a regional accent had been a barrier to their success, and just a third said their boss was working class. The least socially mobile sector was health and social work, where only a fifth said their boss was working class; and the industry with the most working class people in leadership roles was manufacturing, at 50%.
Regionally, Wales had the lowest proportion of working class people at the top of organisations at just 17%.
“When it comes to opportunity and how far you can go in Britain, far too much is still determined by what’s in the rear-view mirror,” Greening said.
“There is still a class ceiling and it’s clear from our grassroots research that people see it and experience it every day.”
Indeed, the study also found that less than half of those polled were earning more, adjusting for inflation, than their highest paid parent did at their age.