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

10: Rethinking Respect


In the face of the challenges outlined, this final chapter concludes the book by considering what those who wish to see progress in this area can do instead. It underlines that continued efforts at social mobility may result in small wins but returns to the underlying paradox running throughout the book: as City firms make gestures toward social mobility, this functions to legitimate the very inequalities that make this less likely to happen, and which they help to create. These inequalities have negative consequences for all of us and our collective acceptance of associated extremes at both ends of the scale of income and wealth denotes a set of norms that are not worthy of respect. The chapter concludes by underlining that we must challenge these social conventions, create a different set of cultural scripts, and drive a more radical response, from organizations and the state, which would look far beyond current concerns with social mobility and tackle deep and persistent structural inequalities of income and wealth.

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