Lord Mayor: City must tackle social mobility

 We must strive for the City, and the UK, to work for everyone, with opportunities available for all, irrespective of background or circumstance, says Lord Mayor Charles Bowman.

Historically, many of the best paid jobs in the corporate world have been secured by people from privileged backgrounds. This situation can create hurdles for people from less advantaged backgrounds, who can struggle to find a place or make progress within the workforce.

But there are many bright and talented young people from across the socioeconomic spectrum hungry for the opportunity to progress in their chosen career paths. As a representative for financial and professional services, an industry that employs 2.3m people across the UK, I understand how important it is that business does all that it can in tackling this issue around social mobility.

The City of London Corporation is a proud sponsor of the Social Mobility Employers’ Index. The scheme encourages businesses to share their initiatives and successes in becoming more inclusive as employers, and to demonstrate transparency in this important issue.

In November 2017, I launched the Business of Trust programme, which aims to improve trustworthiness in and beyond the UK’s financial and professional services sector, and to create a lasting legacy of better business, trusted by society.

Part of our ambition is for a more inclusive, responsible and competitive financial and professional services sector. This will create lasting value for London and the UK. We want the City to be diverse and resilient, with jobs and opportunities for people from all backgrounds, while City businesses of all sizes compete globally.

To achieve our goal, we are working with the City’s financial and professional services industry and a wide range of partners to inspire, develop and promote responsible business practices, improving access to opportunity for everyone. 

We are bringing together our resources and networks, focusing our efforts on where we can make the greatest impact. We must ensure that young people receive the guidance, support and, most importantly, the opportunity to find a career that they are passionate about.

Business should reflect our society; in turn, it will be able to recruit from a wider range of talent and will reap the associated rewards. We must strive for the UK to work for everyone, with opportunities available for all, irrespective of background or circumstance.

Charles Bowman is the 690th Lord Mayor of the City of London, an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and member of the London Society of Chartered Accountants.

Article available at:https://www.icaew.com/en/groups-and-networks/local-groups-and-societies/london-ds/london-accountant/opinion/sep18-lord-mayor