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Recruitment scams are not always obvious. Here are a few tips on how to identify a fraudulent message:

  • It’s from an unknown phone number, country code or email address.

  • It contains a link; these may contain malware that could be installed on your device so avoid clicking on these.

  • It contains sudden requests for payment or pressure to act quickly.

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  • It contains unrealistic salary or working arrangements - if it’s too good to be true it probably is.

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  • Report the scam message to your local authorities or the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) through their official website for further investigation.

At Diversifying Group, we might contact you by text message, however:

  • Initial contact will usually be via an email address containing or via LinkedIn.

  • We never send job offers or requests for personal information via text message to individuals who have not registered with our agency.

  • We will never ask a candidate to pay fees as part of the recruitment process.

  • We have an office phone number on our website, so you can give us a call if you’re not sure of anything.

Stay alert and safeguard yourself against fraudulent activity. If you have any doubts or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly using the contact details below:

11 Mar 2024

The Forgotten Diversity: Socioeconomic Status

In collaboration with Zero Gravity

The Equality Act doesn’t protect you. The workplace discriminates against you. It’s not your fault. What do you do?

In 2010, the UK passed The Equality Act, which united a variety of anti-discrimination laws into a single act. As a result, a list of ‘protected characteristics’ were generated, preventing employers and colleagues from discriminating against team members due to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and beliefs, sex, and sexual orientation.

It was a huge step in the right direction. However, it poses the question: what happens to the victims of discrimination who aren’t protected by this act?

Socioeconomic Status

Enter socioeconomic status (SES). Socioeconomic Status is not legally a protected characteristic and rarely comes into diversity discussions. Perhaps this is largely as it is so ephemeral to measure, generally relying on multiple layers of government data, from street-level income to parental occupation, to level of education. It is far from black and white and must often be determined on a case-by-case basis. Consider a student from a low-income, single-parent family on free school meals attending private school on a scholarship – which socioeconomic category do they fall into?

While definitions of SES may be unclear, the discrimination that occurs is not. As quickly as the public can assess, identify, and pass judgements on an individual’s protected characteristics (e.g. sex or disability), they can make judgements on the perceived socioeconomic status of the individual, using verbal and visual cues. The only difference is that this bias is not legally viewed as discrimination.

Class Judgement

These judgements can be made in a split second, from an individual’s accent – the UK public still perceives RP as the voice of the educated, in contrast to the negative associations with strong regional accents (Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham accents were voted as the “least prestigious” in 2022,) – to their clothing. A 2019 study by Princeton showed that “clothing perceived as ‘richer’ by an observer led to higher competence ratings of the person pictured than similar clothes judged as ‘poorer,’ the researchers found” 

A snap judgement is made on individuals by assuming their socioeconomic status, and thus judging them more or less competent. And these discriminations hold serious impact - working-class professionals are paid 12% less annually than peers from more affluent backgrounds in the same occupation. But socioeconomic status cannot be considered in isolation.

The Great Intersection

Though socioeconomic status sits apart from the protected characteristics, it intersects with them all. Ethnicity and lower socioeconomic status cross over as those from a minority ethnic background are more likely to work jobs in low-paid occupations, with Black people significantly more likely to have insecure jobs or be unemployed. A similar effect is evidenced in disabled communities, with studies showing that almost half of households with lower socioeconomic status had someone disabled in their household.

Women are on average paid less than their male counterparts and work fewer hours over a lifetime compared to men, which in turn impacts SES. Transgender people have been found to have significantly lower employment rates, lower household incomes, higher poverty rates, and worse self-rated health, negatively impacting their SES outcomes.

Cycle of Oppression

Socioeconomic status intersects with all protected characteristics but is often overlooked. Ignoring social class as a key barrier to opportunities can form perpetual cycles of oppression. For example:

  • Someone from a professional background is 60% more likely to be in a professional role than someone from a low SES background.  

  • Children who have a doctor as a parent are 24 times more likely to become a doctor than those who don’t. 

  • It will take five generations for those born in low-income families to approach the national mean income.

( TPP, 2022) 

A Positive Change

The world of work can be powerful in disrupting negative cycles of social oppression and creating opportunities for communities where there has traditionally been low social mobility. In the past few years, the switched-on businesses have started to disrupt the class discrimination issue via more inclusive recruitment practices. 

As a leading inclusive recruiter, we suggest the following measures to encourage socioeconomic diversity:

  • First consider the data. Collect data on the recruitment process and review the engagement, identifying gaps to address.

  • Is language creating a barrier? Use plain language and avoid acronyms. This can provide clarity of the position, criteria, and process. This ensures everyone has an equal understanding of the role, criteria and what is asked of them.  

  • Review your criteria. Review if qualifications are essential to the role and focus on the skills an individual brings, rather than experience. Some people may not have been afforded the opportunities to gain certain experiences or qualifications.

  • Transparency is key. Communicate what the recruitment process looks like and what is assessed at each stage. If you are someone who doesn’t come from a professional background you may not know what to expect and will likely feel anxious about the process.  

  • Widen your reach. Review where you are advertising positions and what demographic it is engaging. Current recruitment tactics may only serve one demographic.  

  • Feedback. If a candidate is not successful, provide feedback, so they can develop and practice.  


These are best practice tips that will benefit all candidates and particularly historically marginalised groups. A common misconception is that making your recruitment process more inclusive is that you will attract a lower quality of candidate. This is a fallacy – we are widening the gate, not lowering the bar. We’re making recruitment work for everyone, not one single type of candidate that is probably overrepresented in workplaces, and particularly leadership.


Diversifying Group

We’re Diversifying Group (formerly BAME Recruitment), a Diversity and Inclusion Services organisation. We provide a blend of Recruitment, Consultancy, Training, and Event services to support organisations on their journey to inclusive working. Black owned, female-led, and B Corp Certified.

Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity is a community which powers ambitious students from low-opportunity areas into top unis and careers. Zero Gravity is packed with features designed to take socially mobile talent to the top – from mentoring, masterclasses, internships and scholarships to personalised career opportunities. Since launching we have been named Cog-X's Voice of Gen-Z, featured at the top of the Startups 100 Index for 2024, and won 4 UK Business Tech Awards for our game-changing platform. And to top it all off, in 2023 we became a B-Corp.

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