How To Crack The Class Ceiling
So...last night Amol Rajan presented the first in a 2 part series about how young people from a working class background can secure a job in Britain's elite professions. About time I say!
Please step forward Brooke De'Ath!
When I wrote my first book The Mystery Shopper & The Hot Tub, I decided that this was exactly the type of person Brooke was going to be. Working class, but one who aspired to - and was capable of - so much more. All the issues that Amol discovered in his investigation of this problem, regularly appear in the numerous incidents throughout books one and two (The Hapless Husband & His Curious Wife): background, education, accents, how people sit, how they dress, who they know and what contacts they have. In Brooke's case, she has the marvellous Lady Townsend as her mentor.
It is an issue I observed first hand during ten years of volunteering at my children's secondary school. I used to help the most disadvantaged students write their CV's, apply for a job and then do a mock interview and give them immediate one to one, face to face feedback so they knew exactly how to improve. I also put on a special charitable event designed specifically to help and encourage another group of disadvantaged youngsters from another school. It was a highly stressful experience for me and nerve- wracking for them, but very successful in making them believe that they were capable (if they had the right guidance) and they really set their mind to it. I had to teach them how to shake hands, how to introduce themselves, how to walk across a room, how to make eye contact, how to speak articulately (without grunting) and then they had to sit down with fifteen senior business leaders from a range of industries and make conversation over a five course fine dining meal - and they weren't allowed into the 5* award winning venue unless they were wearing a suit and proper shoes!! My firm belief was that if I didn't do it, who else would?
My faith in people being able to improve themselves and their lot in life - regardless of class - was a strong influence in my books.
I just wanted to share that with my readers and the wider world.
I am really looking forward to part 2 next week; a pat on the back to Amol for bringing this important subject to the masses!