The legal sector does more to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds than businesses in IT and finance – or at least believes that it does.
According to educational charity the Sutton Trust, the legal profession also offers young people the best chance to reach senior management or board level roles.
Figures released today show that 59% of respondents working in the legal profession thought that the business they worked at supported disadvantaged young people well.
In the finance and accounting sector 52% of respondents said they felt young people were supported, while the figure stood at 56% for the IT industry.
The legal profession was beaten only by the construction industry, in which 61% of respondents said they felt social mobility issues were adequately addressed.
The survey saw more than 1,000 business ‘decision-makers’ in various sectors, including legal, finance and IT, asked for their perceptions on how well their organisation supports disadvantaged people. The other business sectors were media, retail, manufacturing and hospitality.
In terms of reaching senior roles, 57% of respondents from the legal profession said they thought disadvantaged young people had the opportunity to get to the top. This was the best score and compared with 48% in finance, 50% in IT and 47% in media/marketing.
However, 34% of respondents from the legal sector still said they thought their business had not addressed concerns well enough.
The YouGov survey was jointly published by the Sutton Trust and Deutsche Bank.
According to the survey, 80% of senior figures in financial services said that the way candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds present themselves at interview is preventing them from getting a job.
The survey also details the ‘brown shoes’ effect highlighted by the Social Mobility Commission. Last year, the commission found that young people from less-affluent homes are often 'locked out' of banking jobs because of clothes, accents, dress and behaviour.