The Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission this week published a survey entitled Elitist Britain 2019, which finds that 39% of the people holding Britain's top positions come from the 7% of the population that is privately educated.

The survey, which charts the educational backgrounds of leading figures from the worlds of politics, business, the media, Whitehall and public bodies, public servants, local government, the creative industries, women and sport, found that the most senior figures in these areas are over five times more likely to have been to a fee-paying school than the general population.

Women remain under-represented at the top of all major professions, but those women who do make it to the ‘top’ are more likely to have attended a private school than the population at large; although they are less likely to have attended Oxbridge than their male counterparts.

“Politicians, employers, and educators all need to work together to ensure that Britain’s elite becomes more diverse in gender, ethnicity and social background,” claims Dame Martina Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission. “It is time to close the power gap and ensure that those at the top can relate to and represent ordinary people.”

Ensuring greater diversity of talent in top roles is the ethos behind Nurole’s creation. “The boards of PLCs and SMEs, government bodies and not-for-profits, as well as charity trustees, are often criticised for being over-represented by white male, privately-educated men,” explains Susie Cummings, Nurole’s founder and CEO. “The Nurole platform was created to help ensure that the top jobs in the UK and worldwide are opened up to a much more diverse talent pool and organisations can demonstrate they are running transparent processes."

“That does not mean diversity for diversity’s sake, but a lack of diversity at the top of an organisation, is often a warning sign that it is not looking far and wide enough to find the best talent.

“It is also a failure to offer inspiration to both internal and external stakeholders and leaves an organisation vulnerable to group-think amongst other things. Our mission is to put candidates in control of their own destiny not be held hostage to the cognitive bias of an intermediary. In so doing, we are widening the pool of talent that is being accessed for top jobs, both in the UK and internationally. That, in turn, leads to greater diversity, which is the natural byproduct of a great search process. Nurole’s mission is to get top positions filled on the basis of what you know and how you use that knowledge, rather than who you know.”

The full Elitist Britain 2019 report can be read here.


If you are looking for senior executive and non-executive director roles, Nurole's innovative recruitment platform can help.