Minister’s Blog

24 February 2019

I was fascinated to read a recent study by two economists, Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison, entitled, ‘The Class Ceiling’. It’s all about  the difficulties which men and women from working class backgrounds have in achieving the highest positions.

The statistics are quite alarming. People from upper middle class origins are 6.5 times more likely than someone with a  working class background to land an elite job in the likes of finance,  medicine, law, accountancy, acting  and so on.

People from upper middle class backgrounds are twelve times more likely to become doctors than those from a working-class background but only twice as likely to become engineers. But they still have a greater chance!

Most astonishingly of all, those from working-class backgrounds earn on average 16% less in elite occupations than colleagues from privileged backgrounds. Clearly, they get into these fields but they aren’t able to travel as far! Why?