The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has announced that its chief executive Michael Izza has joined a government-backed taskforce which is designed at breaking down the socio-economic barriers at senior levels across the UK.
The taskforce was launched in November 2020 and is backed by the treasury, BEIS and run by City of London Corporation.
The new collaboration aims to challenge the “lack of career progression” for those coming from non-professional backgrounds and explore the “intersections” with other protected characteristics, including gender and race.
Recent research from the Bridge Group has revealed that 89% of senior roles in financial services were occupied by people from professional backgrounds (defined by parental occupation at 14) – nearly three times the UK working population.
Those from lower socio-economic backgrounds take 25% longer to progress, and increased to 32% for people from those backgrounds who identified as black.
Commenting on joining the taskforce, Izza said: “The impact of coronavirus on our communities and economy makes it more important than ever to ensure Britain’s financial and professional services remain open to all and retain those who can help bring about positive change.”
“Businesses must seize the opportunity not only to ensure equal access to the sector for everyone, but importantly to retain high performing talent, through fair and equitable progress.”