'It pays to be privileged' says report on social mobility

A new report has found that social mobility has remained “virtually stagnant” since 2014 and calls for urgent action to tackle the “privilege gap”.

This year’s State of the Nation report, published by the Social Mobility Commission – a non-government department sponsored by the Department for Education – attests that “being born privileged means you are likely to remain privileged”. The report shows those from working-class backgrounds are significantly less likely to embark on a career in a professional occupation. Those that do, continue to face challenges - earning “on average 17% less than their more privileged colleagues.”

The report warns with the increased use of automation “these divides could worsen, as workers in low pay and with low qualifications are most at risk of their work being automated,” and highlights inequality deriving from ones education background. While 7% of the population attends a private school, 82% of those in private school education “are drawn from the top half of the income distribution” with more “prestigious” positions dominated by alumni from private schools. This echoes findings from CIPR’s latest State of the Profession report which shows that more than a quarter (28%) of those working in public relations attended a fee-paying school - four times higher than the national UK average of 7%.

CIPR President, Emma Leech Found.Chart.PR FCIPR
The findings on social mobility in this year’s State of the Nation report are a stark warning to our profession. Our own research highlights that PR is a less diverse industry today than it was three years ago. The status quo is unacceptable. Talent doesn’t have a postcode and it isn’t determined by skin colour. We must do more to promote inclusion and ensure that PR professionals from all backgrounds can succeed in our industry.
CIPR President, Emma Leech Found.Chart.PR FCIPR
Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
The CIPR is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).