Compared to senior financial services executives, junior employees are half as likely to believe their company is successful at hiring people from various backgrounds, according to research from Multiverse.
According to the study, compared to three quarters, or 73% of senior managers, only 48% of entry-level employees in the financial services industry believe their organisations are successful at hiring people from low-income backgrounds.
Around 78% of employees who have worked in the industry for less than six months think their company has trouble luring applicants from racial or ethnic minorities. When seasoned experts are asked for their opinions, this drops to a third, or 31%.
The study also found that the UK financial services industry is also facing a significant retention difficulty, with 2 in 5 or 39% of employees saying they intend to quit the industry within the next five years. This percentage rises to 68% for people with less than six months of experience.
Multiverse is urging more financial services companies to support apprenticeships in light of worries over the diversity of new talent and statistics suggesting that current employees intend to leave the industry in the upcoming years. According to the study, apprenticeships are encouraged throughout the sector as a means of increasing diversity. 71% of people who work in the financial services sector agree that hiring apprentices contributes to the industry’s goal of worker diversity, while 85% of those who have worked in the sector for less than six months have the same opinion.
Multiverse diversity, equity and inclusion director Siobhan Randell said: “The findings from our research are clear: staff in the financial services industry are seeing a lack of diversity in their workforce, which presents a challenge to the sector. But there’s an ideal opportunity to solve this. While there’s lots of new talent being hired as many leave the industry, leaders in the sector have the chance to make sure their workforce is representative of their local communities or of the communities they serve.
“Apprenticeships have a powerful role to play to improve diversity, ensuring a high-potential, sustainable pipeline of talent from a diversity of backgrounds. We’ve seen first-hand how apprentices are having a positive impact on the here and now, as well as the future, of financial services. With firms across the sector backing apprentices, there’s no better time than now.”