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White male graduates ‘are more likely to get top jobs’

PRIVILEGED white male graduates are more likely to land the top jobs at multinational companies, an academic study shows.

Those who got the highest-paid senior roles had attended elite universities — in particular Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Imperial College London and especially London Business School, the study published in the British Journal of Sociology has suggested.

A small group of universities, including Bath, Warwick and City, provided a small challenge to this group in terms of earnings on entry.

The study, which drew on data from the Destination of Leavers in Higher Education survey, examined 3,260 graduates recruited by 31 elite companies, including firms such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays Bank, HSBC and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Dr Michael Donnelly, of the University of Bath’s department of education, said: “Inequalities at the earliest phases of recruitment are likely to cement more long-term patterns in career progression, resulting in the sorts of white, privileged corridors of power we see in the upper echelons of elite firms.

“The detail of what diversity means to these firms matters and needs to be challenged if these companies are to go beyond paying lip service to ‘diversity’.”

In terms of top multinational companies’ overall recruitment, ethnic minority graduates were more likely to be recruited and women were just as likely to be hired as men.

The researchers say a “very different story emerges” when it comes to recruitment for the jobs that have the highest starting salaries.

Compared with white graduates, most other ethnic groups were less likely to be earning the most on entry to a top firm.


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