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Improving social mobility in the City is key to better business

Mission Group's future as an independant business could be under threat
Mission Group's future as an independant business could be under threat

Progress comes in many forms, and one of those is just gathering a lot of people in a room who care about the same thing.

And so it was last night, with the gathering of the great and the good – and supporters – of Progress Together, the Square Mile initiative to improve the level of socio-economic diversity in the management ranks of financial and professional services.

Founded as the pandemic receded into the rear view mirror, the membership body exists to identify where young talent from lower socioeconomic backgrounds fall out of the executive pipeline, and help businesses navigate the sometimes challenging landscape that comes with doing something about it.

Social mobility is the often forgotten part of any initiative designed to change the face (literally) of the C-Suite, and all the more challenging to do something about.

After all, it’s more difficult to see because not everyone wants to stick their hand up and declare where they’ve come from, and then anybody trying to do background digging on it comes up against a natural suspicion of handing over the most personal data.

So Progress Together, in short, does something very valuable indeed.

It is a lasting legacy of former Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny and its progress – no pun intended – has been driven by its energetic CEO, Sophie Hulm.

It is, genuinely, one of the most valuable parts of the social mobility ecosystem in business, and best of all, there is precious little preaching and even less finger wagging.
It’s about results: a more diverse workforce makes for better businesses and a more competitive City of London.

It is this that will tangibly drive change at the top of our biggest businesses: self-interest is at the heart of capitalism, after all. In a free market, those who attract more talent from more varied areas will end up winning the day