Highly Discriminating

Why the City Isn’t Fair and Diversity Doesn’t Work


Written by a leading expert, this book examines equality issues in the City of London, arguing that social hiring practices in the City favour affluent applicants, and calls for a policy shift at the organisational and governmental levels.

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Why does the City of London, despite an apparent commitment to recruitment and progression based on objective merit within its hiring practices, continue to reproduce the status quo?

Written by a leading expert on diversity and elite professions, this book examines issues of equality in the City, what its practitioners say in public, and what they think behind closed doors.

Drawing on research, interviews, practitioner literature and internal reports, it argues that hiring practices in the City are highly discriminating in favour of a narrow pool of affluent applicants, and future progress may only be achieved by the state taking a greater role in organisational life. It calls for a policy shift at both the organisational and governmental level to the implications of widening inequality in the UK.

Louise Ashley is Senior Lecturer in Organization Studies at Royal Holloway. She has led major research reports for government bodies including the Social Mobility Commission and regularly presents her findings to practitioner audiences in the City and further afield. Her research has also been covered in national and international mainstream media including Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed, The New York Times, The Sydney Herald, The Financial Times and The Guardian.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.