Turning to the next generation of City employees for inspiration, the Lord Mayor has crowdsourced ideas for how to encourage greater diversity in the City of London.

For this year’s schools essay competition, run by the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, the Lord Mayor asked secondary school students for their ideas of how to make banking and finance more representative of the wider population, as part of his mayoral theme ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’. With his mission of making the City more inclusive and a better fit for the future, the Lord Mayor received suggestions from the capital’s students covering accessibility, ethnicity, gender and social class.

The culmination of several weeks hard work by the participating students was rewarded at an awards presentation hosted at ING yesterday evening. [Press Photos of the Lord Mayor and winning students are available; please email timrtjones@gmail.com] But it’s not the end of the story; as these students look towards further and higher education.  Industry body UK Finance will support two ‘outstanding’ entrants as part of the organisation’s internship programme, as they begin their careers in the City with work experience in their London office.

The overall winner is Ope Adagunodo from Walworth Academy whose essay argued that, since studies show that in the UK, USA and Canada, companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median, it made excellent sense for City businesses to do everything they can to remove unconscious bias in the hiring process. The winners from all 15 London state schools taking part will be invited to participate in the WCIB Gateway to City Careers Programme – an initiative run by social mobility charity The Brokerage to provide additional in-depth careers support to the students.

Lord Mayor Alderman Peter Estlin, who is Past Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers said:

“Who better to ask how we can develop a more diverse City than the young people who will be the financial leaders of tomorrow? I will be reflecting on all of the entries and promoting these ideas with City leaders and representatives from financial services across the world throughout my year as Lord Mayor.”

Applauding the awards, Mark Sismey-Durrant, present Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers said:

“The WCIB has organised this important competition for many years and we are delighted to raise the profile of diversity as a key aspect of the Mayor’s theme of Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’.

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Tim Jones (Chair, WCIB Communications Committee) 07815 196778 timrtjones@gmail.com

The Worshipful Company of International Bankers is the proud mother Livery Company of the 691st Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Peter Estlin. Its 650 members are a diverse and inclusive group, from bankers to stockbrokers to asset managers who stand for the Lord George Principles for Good Business Conduct of honesty, integrity, fairness, skill, expertise and diversity. Its aim is to support the traditions and customs of the Civic City of London, its Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Corporation, increase financial literacy, raise aspirations for education and improve the likelihood of employment for all, encourage the highest standards across the Financial Services Profession for the benefit of the public and to do this charitably by donating money and volunteering time.

The WCIB Gateway to City Careers Programme is designed to increase young people’s employability skills and knowledge of career paths within financial, professional and related services.

The programme begins with careers workshops, hosted by one of our corporate partners, to introduce young people to London’s businesses and the exciting range of career paths they could follow.

Workshops are facilitated by staff from The Brokerage, with significant engagement from employee volunteers at the host firm who support the various activities. Students who participate in these workshops are invited to apply for a place on a careers support programme which will begin in the spring term, delivered by The Brokerage.

About The Brokerage

The Brokerage is a social mobility charity based in the City of London that works in partnership with employers, volunteers and schools to help young state-educated Londoners achieve their career potential by providing experiences of work, employability skills and jobs in financial, professional and related services. The charity has been building links between employers and the local communities surrounding the financial districts since 1996.


About UK Finance

UK Finance is the collective voice for the banking and finance industry. Representing more than 250 firms across the industry we help drive forward positive change to enhance standards, support customers and promote innovation.


About ING

ING have hosted the Schools Essay Awards evening for many years. ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s 51,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.

ING Group shares are listed on the exchanges of Amsterdam (INGA AS, INGA.AS), Brussels and on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs: ING US, ING.N).

Lord Mayor shaping tomorrow’s city today by asking London school students how to increase diversity in the city