Your background and where you come from doesn’t have to be a barrier to your success. The system can feel like some people have been given a head start in a race and it’s the job of others to catch them up.
Those who’ve made mistakes, those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, those who are repeatedly rejected by the system, do not have to live their lives within limits. There is a wealth of opportunity out there, second chances being given, normalities being changed and business disruptors shaking things up for the better with diversity and inclusion. However, some of these people are hard to reach.
You can’t do anything about where you’re born or raised, it’s beyond your control. What you are in control of is what you will learn, where you will go and how you will move through your life.
Working class people, less advantaged people, marginalised people and underrepresented people naturally have access to less opportunity. While kids of the middle classes are generally free to have a safe and secure childhood with parents that guide them, create experiences and invest in their conversation, children from disadvantaged backgrounds can face insecurity, neglect, emotional turmoil, instability and limited experiences.
It is crucial for employers to recognise that even the brightest and most talented from underprivileged backgrounds will have gaps in their knowledge and experience. They will have a different cultural context – due to not having been exposed to the opportunities around them, or encouraged to learn.
Our message to employers is this; don’t keep employing yourselves – people who look like you, sound like you, those in your circle. That fights against true inclusion, a movement many companies are dedicated to getting right.
If we collectively help people by giving them the skills and confidence to apply themselves, they too can achieve greatness. Education is a solution for disadvantage – the route to skills and learning, produce well-paid jobs and opportunities. It should be no different for those who have been caught up on the wrong path and are looking to change direction.
People often seek to learn from those they can really relate to. It’s vital that people on the wrong path looking to make a change are exposed to those who have also overcome barriers and obstacles much like ones they may have faced.
This will help people develop confidence and take positive strides towards their future. Equating to lower crime rates and a beneficial society for us all.
We’re calling for the boardroom to be open to everyone. Learn more about our sponsorship packages and how you can get involved with Street2Boardroom.