The message from the Big Four firms of accountants on inequality is ‘do as we say, not as we do’

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I published my disquiet about a letter from the Big Four accounting firms on the issue of inequality yesterday, suggesting when doing so that they were part of the problem and not the solution.

It seems I was right. The FT reports this morning that:

The world’s largest accounting firms have been urged to radically alter their recruitment policies after research found applicants to the sector from low income backgrounds are less likely to be hired than wealthier counterparts.

Applicants from higher income backgrounds had a one in 18 chance of being hired, compared with a one in 22 chance for those from low-income backgrounds, according to the first in-depth study of how socio-economic diversity affects hiring in the accounting profession.

The Bridge Group, a UK-based charitable association that conducted the research, additionally found that candidates for trainee positions who were educated at independent schools had a one in 14 chance of being hired, compared with one in 17 of state school-educated applicants.

So this is very much a case of do as I say, not as I do then.

As I suspected.