Moving On Up: Young black men in London's Financial sector: aspirations and experiences

Key findings

38%

of survey respondents said that interviewers' demeanours would change when they saw that they were black.

65%

of survey respondents said they would be interested in a careers programme to help young black men to get jobs in the financial sector.

Most

interview participants raised the point that a lack of social capital could be a barrier for black men to enter the financial sector.

In the most ethnically diverse city in the world, young black men struggle to land good City jobs. A study by the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) shows that young black men are less likely than young white men to be working in London’s finance sector. Through in-depth interviews with young black men already working or looking for jobs in the City, the research found that most had experienced barriers, with almost one third citing racial discrimination as the main reason why fewer young black men are working in finance roles.

Moving on Up is a five year programme, led by Trust for London and City Bridge Trust in partnership with BTEG, to increase employment opportunities for young black men in London. The programme is working with employers to encourage more young black men into high quality jobs in finance, banking and insurance, and in other key London job sectors.

In the summer of 2017 BTEG conducted financial sector research to inform their strategy for Moving On Up Phase Two. They contacted young black men who either held or were seeking jobs in the city via an online survey, which 49 people completed. Following the survey, BTEG conducted 18 more in depth interviews with black men working or seeking to work in the financial sector. 

The full findings are in the report at the bottom of the page.

Here are quotes from the Chair of Trust for London and the Chief Executive of BTEG about the project:

Jeff Hayes, Chair of Trust for London:

The City of London has attracted talent from around the globe for decades but its track record of employing young black men is poor. This is not the case in other major cities, like New York, and therefore I want to not just to encourage, but request that companies work with us to attract talented young black men into a long term career, such as Finance. These young black men who often face additional barriers outside of their control and can suffer from being stereotyped need our support. Young black men make up 1 in 5 of all young males in London and we want this group of young people to be defined by their talent, their drive and positive contributions.’ ‘The Trust for London has invested a substantial sum into this project, and together Mayor Khan, City Bridge Trust and BTEG we are focused on integrating more young black men into the workforce, and the finance sector offers a wide range of opportunities for them to fulfil their ambitions. We need all young Londoners to bring their ideas, energy and keep London’s finance sector ahead of the competition.’

Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of BTEG

At BTEG, we regularly meet bright, talented, qualified young black men who are searching for good careers but are not getting the opportunities. There is a lot more that companies can do to reach these young people, including by working with intermediary organisations and programmes like Moving on Up.”

Download report

Moving On Up: Young black men in London's Financial sector: aspirations and experiences

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