Fewer FTSE 100 CEOs privately educated

Eton College
By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

26 February 2016

The number of FTSE 100 CEOs who were privately educated is now less than many of the UK’s most high profile professions, according to research by the Sutton Trust.

Just over a third (34%) of business leaders went to public school and 31% attended an Oxbridge university.

In 1987, 70% of FTSE 100 chief executives were privately educated – a figure which dropped to 54% in 2007.

The Sutton Trust said that the UK’s top professions remain “disproportionately populated by alumni of private schools and Oxbridge”, despite only 7% of the population being privately educated.

Judges (74%), barristers (71%) and doctors (61%) are among the most privately educated professions.

Sutton Trust

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said that while privately and Oxbridge educated students often have higher academic achievement, other factors can determine their future career success.

He said: “These students often have the social skills and advantages – from higher aspiration and greater extra-curricular opportunities, to easier access to professional networks – that precipitate career success.”

The report also acknowledged efforts by the business sector to improve diversity, such as increasing the number of women on boards, but highlighted that the very top of the business world is still dominated by men. Only five of the FTSE 100 chief executives are women.

The study recommended that more employers provide greater access to high quality paid internships, which it said are “disproportionately” available to people from privileged backgrounds.

The Trust also said that businesses should be more transparent with the amount of diversity information that they publish.

Image credit: Fotogenix / Shutterstock.com

Source: Sutton Trust


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