Report on ‘Non-educational barriers to the elite professions evaluation’

Non-educational barriers to the elite professions evaluation looks at the barriers to entry for people from less privileged backgrounds to elite law and accountancy firms in London and financial firms in Scotland.

The study finds that despite their efforts to improve social inclusion over the past ten to fifteen years, these elite firms continue to be heavily dominated at entry level by people from more privileged socioeconomic backgrounds. This can be attributed primarily to a tendency to recruit the majority of new entrants from a narrow group of elite universities, where students are more likely to have attended selective or feepaying schools, and/or come from relatively affluent backgrounds. In addition, elite firms define ‘talent’ according to a number of factors such as drive, resilience, strong communication skills and above all confidence and ‘polish’, which participants in the research acknowledged can be mapped on to middle-class status and socialisation.

The report was published on 14 June 2015 by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.