Freshfields adds socio-economic background to census questions

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  • About time too. I strongly doubt we will see the children of (m)any call centre workers and shop assistants joining Freshfields anytime soon though.

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  • If your recruitment policy is based on a "best person for the job" mentality, surely "socio-economic" data is irrelavant and a complete waste of time and expense.
    Social mobility is about better education not quotas within employers. Diversity will naturally happen if every child has access to a top-class education - firms will still want to hire the best candidates.
    If "diversity and inclusion" officers are truely dedicated to diversity, they should resign from their non-jobs, go into education and allow firms to reinvest their salaries into practices.
    Just a thought...

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  • @ Anonymous | 28-Feb-2011 4:03 pm - 'Best person for the job' is hugely subjective and in reality this work is not such that only rare geniuses can do it.
    Around 7% of children go to private schools, yet the privately educated make up around 50% of trainees at leading firms.
    So long as selection for top jobs is based on access to the best education, rather than raw ability, we will continue have a society which in which the meritocracy is a grotesque sham.

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  • "Head of diversity and inclusion Deborah Dalgleish said: “It’s been in one’s eyeline for some time;"
    In one's what? Why do people in jobs like this talk in such a ludicrous way?
    Unfortunately, the reason the kids of rich parents are recruited isn't because they're particularly bright, it's because they `fit in' with both the other people who work there and the clients.
    This subject cropped up recently regarding accents, and the principle's identical. There is an important social role in jobs at firms like this, and they want people who can mix in a relaxed way with prestige clients.
    It's a simple fact that the public schools turn out well-polished chaps and chapesses who speak `nicely', know how to hold their knife and fork properly, can discuss England's rugger prospects as against whether Torres was a good signing, and can generally turn on the charm as and when required.
    It's just tribalism really - people will always select as their work colleagues people who are like themselves.
    The lower orders just need to accept that unless they have truly Pygmalion qualities they have no more hope of entering this particular magic circle than they have of receiving an invitation to The Wedding.

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  • I don't think speculating about what has or has not been recently in Deborah Dalgleish's eyeline is helpful.
    Deborah's name suggests an egalitarian explosion is already on its way at Freshfields. Through this project, HR professionals at Freshfields may be able to catch sight of incoming 'lower orders' from close quarters and deal accordingly.

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  • I worked for Freshfields as a lawyer for many years (left in 1993). My dad was a bus driver and my mother a school dinner lady. But then I did go to the equivalent of a Grammar School so that was in the days of social mobility!

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