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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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New push to end barriers which stop people getting to the top in the financial services industry

Friday 20 January 2023

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) - has joined Progress Together – a City of London led organisation – to help ensure people from all backgrounds get the chance to achieve senior leadership positions in the financial services industry.

Research has shown that people from working class backgrounds in financial services progress 25% slower than people from middle and upper class backgrounds.

Currently, only 11% of employees at a senior level in the financial sector come from a non-professional background, with ethnic minority women from working class backgrounds making up just 1% of leaders in the City.

Progress Together and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry believe that more must be done to ensure talented individuals are able to reach the top.

In the months ahead, LCCI and Progress Together will collaborate as they take action to prevent the barriers to progression and retention which exist and so ensure all people working in the sector can attain their full potential.

London’s diverse talent pool underpins its standing as the best in the world to run or start a business, and harnessing the full potential of its workforce delivers significant economic and social benefits. LCCI’s Asian Business Association and Black Business Association are amongst its initiatives to secure a London business ecosystem in which everyone can thrive.

James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said “The commercial and moral case for improving socio-economic diversity within the financial sector is clear and undeniable. We look forward to working with Progress Together to drive concerted action that leads to greater representation at senior levels and maintains the sector’s globally competitive edge.”

Sophie Hulm, Chief Executive of Progress Together said “To be competitive, we must attract, retain and progress all high performing talent, regardless of socio-economic background. In UK Financial Services, the class pay gap is nearly four times that of the tech sector. Yet, evidence tells us that the progression gap between employees from working class and professional backgrounds has zero link to job performance. The cost of wasted talent should not be underestimated. We are calling on the sector to put this right. Progress Together supports its 30+ members to collect employee data, to share best practice, and to take action. Together our network of members is in a better place to respond to growing investor, employee, client and regulator interests.

As a new not-for-profit start up, the support from partner organisations is crucial in helping to raise awareness and gain traction. We are grateful to LCCI for pledging their support. We look forward to delivering progress, together. Now is the time to level the playing field.”

About LCCI

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the hub of the capital’s business community, connecting, supporting, and championing the interests of over 3,000 London businesses that make up LCCI’s diverse membership. LCCI supports London’s business community by providing a range of services, advocates on behalf of the capital’s business community in the most important forums of policy debate and promotes ‘Global London’ as the best city in the world to do business – whether that is to trade, invest, learn, visit, or find new commercial partners.

LCCI’s International Trade Advisory Service responds to thousands of enquiries from SMEs and large corporations seeking advice on all aspects of EU and wider international trade, and LCCI are the largest UK issuer of trade documentation services and the national guaranteeing authority for ATA Carnets.

The Chamber is the creator behind the bi-monthly London Business Matters magazine and provides flexible co-working and meeting spaces within its offices in the City of London. LCCI also offers expert arbitration and mediation services through The London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation (LCAM). LCCI’s Capital 500 Quarterly Economic Survey provides expert insight into the mood of the City, and the Chamber also provides backing for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London as a Global City.

About Progress Together

Progress Together was launched in May 2020 by its Chair the then Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Vincent Keaveny. It is a new membership body, the first of its kind focusing on socio-economic diversity and progression specifically for the UK Financial Services sector, and whose sole purpose is to encourage, enable and empower the sector to improve socioeconomic diversity at a senior level.

Progress Together is made up of a cohort of committed and passionate founding partners, supporters, and members each with vital roles to play in driving change. Members of this new body, of which there are already over 30, are provided with resources and guidance to enable them to address the barriers that exist and importantly make commitments to take action.