Regional accents seen as a barrier to graduate roles

Many stigmas have developed in the office over the years in the UK, the latest one being around regional dialects, with over half saying regional accents are a barrier to securing a graduate role.

In a poll conducted by Equality Group, a consulting firm which tries to promote diversity in the finance, technology and social impact sectors, it was found that 55 per cent believed regional accents are a barrier to securing graduate roles.

It also found that 19 per cent said they have had to change the way they talk at work in order to be successful.

When looking at specific locations in the UK, 26 per cent of those who work in London feel the need to modify their accents with 25 per cent of employees in Scotland doing the same.  In Wales, only 9 per cent of employees do this.

The poll also found that 9 per cent are too embarrassed to admit what school or university they went to, as they feel it will stop their career from progressing.

This comes as HireRight, a global employment background check company found that 83 per cent of those in HR uncovered a lie from a candidate during the interview and application stages. One of the most common CV inconsistencies the report  found were 49 per cent lying about their educational past.

Hephzi Pemberton, founder of Equality Group, said:

As companies are not legally required to hire from a range of socio-economic classes, businesses need to step up and address the benefits that come from diversity of thought and experience and hire accordingly.

Businesses need to reassess their hiring practices to ensure that they offer equality of opportunity based on academic and professional experience and not ethnicity, gender or class.

It is unacceptable that such a significant proportion of the British population believe that they need to change their accents or hide their background to flourish within their professional environments.

This poll asked 2,003 people their opinion on the matter.

Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.