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Show Me The Way

Mar 5, 2024

Sociologist and  University of London Fellow Dr. Louise Ashley is a leading authority on social class, its effect on career progression and access to elite professions. In this episode of Show Me the Way, the author of “ Highly Discriminating: Why the City Isn’t Fair and Diversity Doesn’t Work” talks about what needs to be done to make the City less exclusive. She believes as well as focusing on diversity and recruitment, it needs to think about its impact on society at large.
We discuss that book title (and why she doesn’t like it now),  social mobility, “fitting in” and why “confidence is often confused with competence”. As well as her recommendation for Emmeline’s bookshelf. It’s a good one!

Dr Louise Ashley is a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, and a Fellow of its Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences. A Sociologist studying how social class affects access to the elite professions, and subsequent career progression. Dr Ashley has published articles in leading academic journals and her research has been widely covered in media, both in the UK and internationally.  She specialises in researching diversity and inclusion in large multinational organisations and ‘elite’ occupations with a particular focus on social mobility and social class. She has led teams appointed by the government’s Social Mobility Commission to understand barriers to entry on the basis of socio-economic background, in law, accountancy and investment banking.

Dr Ashley is a member of advisory boards including the social mobility charity UpReach and is a Research Fellow for the Bridge Group. She is also a working group member on the City of London Socioeconomic Diversity Taskforce.

Books for Emmeline recommendation:
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Feel the Fear and do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Dr Louise Ashley’s Book: Highly Discriminating: Why the City Isn’t Fair and Diversity Doesn’t Work