Socio-economic background relates to income, occupation and social background. This includes where you were born and raised, your family history, your level of education, and your access to funding or opportunities.
A person’s socio-economic background is a major factor in their career progression. A recent report from CMI found that found that 53% of those in management roles are from a high socio-economic background, compared to just 38% from a low socio-economic background.
Further to this, in the UK tech sector specifically, Inclusive Boards estimates that 19% of workers are from a working-class background compared to 33.3% of the nationwide population (2014 Labour Force Survey). In contrast, those with parents from a professional-managerial background make up 45% of workers in the sector compared to 31.2% of the nationwide population.
The extent of the socio-economic diversity challenge in the tech sector is symbolised by the average class pay gap of £4,736. This means that when individuals from working-class origins enter the sector, they can expect to earn £4,736 less than their peers from more privileged backgrounds with the same education, experience and training. Broadening access to opportunities available is crucial if we are to break down barriers in the workplace and improve social mobility in tech.
But how can we buck this trend? And how do we get the confidence to own our own backgrounds and get ahead in tech?
We catch up with Dr. Tendu Yogurtcu, Chief Technology Officer at Precisely, to give us her thoughts on social mobility and the role that tech businesses can play in driving more a diverse workforce.
We take a look at why social mobility is important in the workplace, what companies can do to improve it, as well as Tendü’s advice on challenging the status quo and having the confidence to get ahead in your career.
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