Student Corner University

Financiers follow father’s (and mother’s) footsteps

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How likely are you to follow the same career path as you parents? If the family business is finance, then it’s pretty likely.

According to the Guardian, two in five people working in British banking have parents who also worked in the sector – more than three times the national average for other types of jobs.

Some 41% of financial services employees had parents working in the same sector, against a national average of 12% across other sectors, research by the accountants KPMG showed. In insurance, more than half of staff had followed their parents into the industry.

Tim Howarth, head of financial services consulting at KPMG, said: “The fact that people in financial services are more than three times more likely than the national average to have followed in their parent’s career footsteps is staggering.”

Diversity in banking is unlikely to improve, as young people working in financial services are even more likely to have followed their parents into the sector.

A survey that was conducted found that pay was the biggest motivation for those seeking jobs in financial services. 31% said it was their main reason to work in the sector, compared with 16% who said interesting work was the main driver, and the same proportion who said they wanted the opportunity to progress in their careers.

Two-thirds of all the people surveyed said they would not consider a role in financial services. Of these, 41% said it was because the industry “sounds boring”, while 16% cited a lack of contacts in the sector. Howarth said: “There’s clearly a gap between what the public think, and the realities of working in financial services… that has to be addressed if we are to attract the diverse mix of skills and experiences needed to navigate the changes going on in financial services and society.”

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