Hello everyone, I am a Human Resource Management and Employee Relations MSc. student at Brunel University and a first time poster.
My dissertation at present is on the topic of class and diversity and my initial idea was to survey professional service companies in London to see whether they do actively try to recruit those from working class backgrounds, do they monitor staff in regards to social background and getting a feel of whether class does matter to companies.
I have always had an interest in Diversity issues and I have been lucky to undertake a Global Diversity Management course with Professor Mustafa Ozbilgin , a leader in the Diversity field and has worked on a number of reports with the CIPD.
What has struck me having studied the topic is how Class is seemingly invisible in the Diversity debate.
It seems that whilst Universities are rightly scrutinized if they do not attract pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds i.e. Oxbridge and the Russell Group universities, that is where class concerns stop.
Diversity is about inclusion yet a lot of the professional services careers for example have always had the white. male (able bodied, hetereosexual etc) and middle to upper classes in them and it seems that the last part is being ignored.
Whilst I do not think that this is a conscious choice (I promise I have not got that big of a chip on my shoulder!) and more perhaps despite the business case arguments being paramount , Equality Legislation is a big part in why companies pursue diversity initiatives.
From a personal point of view, I feel the working class get a bad reputation in this country and whilst proportionally speaking not many of us go to university, even when we do get a degree we are still disadvantaged be that by not going to the best universities or schools, having an "accent", not having the best GCSE's etc.
But then what people view themselves as is very complicated and I appreciate there is many complexities in this
I am very interested in hearing from you all as to your experience of how class is treated by companies , particularly to those that do working in the legal, banking, accounting and consultancy sectors.
It would be nice to get a good debate going and maybe take this outside the forums and doing something meaningful.
I look forward to your comments