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Why have we removed the 2:1 requirement from our early careers recruitment policy?

At Schroders we champion diversity of thought. We recognise that the future potential and workplace performance of our people go beyond gaining a specific degree classification. So, we’re removing the minimum 2:1 university degree criteria from our 2023 internship, placement year and graduate programmes.

We believe the removal of this requirement will help us access a wider pool of innovative individuals who can bring fresh perspectives to our business. It will also offer new opportunities to a more diverse range of people from all backgrounds.  

Diversity of thought is critical to succeeding in modern business,” says Emma Holden, Global Head of Human Resources. “Research shows that there is no direct correlation between academic achievements and performance at work. Removing the requirement for a 2:1 degree classification allows us to start breaking down the societal and systemic barriers preventing diverse talent from fulfilling their potential.”

This move forms part of our wider social equality programme for school leavers and graduates, which includes events, initiatives and inclusive recruitment measures. These are all aimed at making investment management more accessible to people from a broader range of backgrounds, who traditionally haven’t had clear, equal pathways into a financial services career.

Education seminars hosted by our Early Careers team, highlight career opportunities at Schroders and how the recruitment process works. A series of fast-track sessions often focus on supporting ethnically-diverse, female and lower socio-economic candidates. Not only do the sessions provide the chance for students to learn about the corporate world, but they receive valuable ‘top tips’ on how best to approach opportunities.

We’ve established a brand ambassador programme to broaden the universities and partners we work with. We recruit students from a variety of universities and backgrounds to represent our firm. This diverse group of brand ambassadors taps into a variety of diversity societies (including the 93% club) sports clubs, subject areas etc. on campus, so we can create awareness at universities where the students wouldn’t typically apply to Schroders.   

This has helped us increase the number of non-Russell Group universities we partner with from 28% to 72% since 2019.

We’ve also made fundamental changes to early careers talent recruitment, including implementing a robust online assessment platform.

Lauren Hillier, Talent Acquisition Specialist, explains: “This allows us to remove CVs from the early stages of the recruitment process to reduce unconscious bias, only incorporating them in the final interview stage. It also includes a video interview platform to increase accessibility. The platform is reviewed annually to ensure all diversity groups are supported equally.”

For new school leaver and graduates joiners, joining bonuses have been introduced to offer additional financial support to those that need it, including working from home set up for flexible working, relocation costs, or for work attire for their new role. 

Our broader equality journey includes wider initiatives to break down barriers in our industry. Our Schroders Giving charities, the Amos Bursary, Social Mobility Foundation and IntoUniversity support this ambition. We’ve been involved in the last three 10,000 Black Interns programmes, which seeks to transform the prospects of young Black people in the UK by offering internships. And we’re a founding partner of Progress Together, a nationwide initiative focused on improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels in the financial services sector, through progression and retention. 


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