’Having access to diverse talent pools is key to unlocking innovation,’ says chief operating officer 

FDM Group has joined forces with insurance industry leaders across the London market in a bid to remove social class barriers across financial institutions.

In a statement released yesterday (5 October 2023), the talent solutions provider said it wanted to increase access and participation within the financial services sector so that its talent pool could be widended.

It came after the firm attended the Dive In Festival, which this year focused on the topic of social mobility.

The event, which ran from 26-28 September 2023, addressed current efforts organisations have in place to encourage people from different socioeconomic backgrounds into the field of insurance. 

Kate Hawthorn, director of talent at FDM Group, said: “The financial sector must extend efforts to break down biases in hiring and in turn widen their talent pool.

”FDM has an established reputation as an employer with a clear and effective diversity agenda and we want to continue working with institutions and focusing on increasing access and participation to careers in technology, regardless of background.”

’Unlocking innovation’

In November 2020, HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commissioned the City of London Corporation to undertake a two-year independent taskforce, designed to boost socioeconomic diversity in UK financial and professional services.

Hawthorn was among panellists at the Dive In Festival, where they explored what the industry can be doing better to achieve this, discussed how companies have tried to remove barriers through recruitment processes and why socioeconomic background still plays a factor in career development.

“Opening up such offerings can also play a key role in bridging the pervading UK skills gap and a step toward a more inclusive financial ecosystem,” she said.

”A range of industry professionals who have successfully come through apprenticeship programmes and from a lower socio-economic background were also present keynote speakers, crucial to role-modelling and underscoring the importance of attendees seeing panellists who present in similar ways and backgrounds.”

Sheila Flavell CBE, chief operating officer of FDM, added:It is imperative that the workforce in the financial sector is reflective of the UK’s overall population and collaboration with industry leaders must continue in order to make this a reality.

”Having access to diverse talent pools is key to unlocking innovation, enhancing employee as well as customer experience and providing opportunities to all, or those who may go unheard otherwise, is the way forward to bridging the skills gap that pervades the UK.”