Profession stacked against those with working class backgrounds, say AA readers

PEOPLE with working class backgrounds are being excluded from the profession, whether systemically or as a result of unconscious bias, according to a poll of 746 Accountancy Age readers.

The UK’s top accounting firms were accused in June of “systematically” excluding people with working class backgrounds from the best jobs by the government’s social mobility watchdog.

Alan Milburn, chairman of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, had accused firms of imposing a “poshness test” effectively preventing applicants with working class backgrounds from entering the profession.

Milburn’s was supported by 42% of AA readers, who said that recruitment criteria are defined by factors skewed towards a privileged background. A further 20% of respondents suggested there is an “unconscious bias” towards those from a privileged background

Around a third of respondents defended the profession, with 22% of the view that many firms have already made big commitments to recruit the best applicants, regardless of background. Sixteen percent said profession champions all forms of diversity, whether class, race or gender.


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