Civil servants with the “right accent” have a better chance of rising through the ranks than those from poorly under-represented backgrounds, according to a new report.
Almost 72% of senior officials have had a privileged education, with a quarter of senior officials having attended an independent school, the damning report of the Commission on Social Mobility revealed.
Analysis of over 300,000 civil servants showed that only 18% of senior civil servants came from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Staff who were promoted were likely to have been privileged, to have the right accent or to have ‘received the pronunciation’, an emotionally detached and low-key demeanor, and an ‘intellectual approach’ to culture and culture. Politics.
Dr Sam Friedman, a new sociology professor at the London School of Economics, who led the report, found that those who reach the top “use existing networks”.
“The right accent and a ‘studied neutrality’ seem to prevail at every stage of their career. Even at the bottom of the professional ladder, progress is thwarted for those unfamiliar with the rule,” the report said.
He also showed that black officials routinely grapple with “classified stereotypes of darkness that are both offensive and bear no resemblance to their actual lives and experiences.”
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An official interviewed for the report said: “So I got the impression early on that there was a secret code on how to proceed.
“There were these people who worked at the treasury, had done certain things… they knew about the ‘velvet drainpipe’, as you hear it. The path from top to bottom. And they clearly did, and they had a language to talk about it. “
Following the findings, the Commission recommended that class be a “protected characteristic” among other factors such as race, gender, disability, age and religion.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-20 06:30:00