Diversity valued above salary amongst entry-level talent

Research from Brixton Finishing School finds an increasing demand for a more inclusive workplace

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE


In a world where the lines between work life and personal life are becoming increasingly more blurred, understanding the priorities of the next-generation workforce is essential to attracting talent. Brixton Finishing School, the creative and digital industry’s talent accelerator, recently surveyed its students and graduates on their working priorities, finding that people are putting purpose over profits and looking to workplaces that align with their moral values. 

The research, taken from a snapshot poll of approximately 100 recent students and graduates of Brixton Finishing School programs, has revealed that this year’s entry-level job seekers value the diversity of an organisation’s current employees above competitive salaries and career progression paths; a finding that is significant given that over a third of grads (39%) had experienced racism and nearly a half (45%) had witnessed it at the start of their careers in the creative, digital and tech industries. 

“Adland can’t stop talking about the talent crunch – and our alumni are giving the clearest sign yet that a diverse workforce is what will win through.” said Brixton Finishing School founder Ally Owen, “To all the organisations doing the hard graft around this, you’re winning, to any of the others who still treat diversity as a tick-box exercise and demonstrate performative practises, the next generation of talent have given their verdict on you.”

Owen continued: “it is critical that we address the experiences of entry-level talent in their early years in the industry. The fact that more than half of those entering the industry is witnessing or directly experiencing discrimination is unacceptable.”

Adland can’t stop talking about the talent crunch – and our alumni are giving the clearest sign yet that a diverse workforce is what will win through

Ally Owen, Founder of the Brixton Finishing School


When asked what they value most from a potential employer, 71% of students value the diversity of the organisation’s current employees, a figure which rose to 76% among non-white respondents. Strong training programs were a priority for 67% of students and 58% value a competitive salary. 

The research coincides with a significant nationwide OOH campaign launched this week, with support from Clear Channel UK, Mail Metro Media, Meta and ADYOULIKE. ADcademy alumni Larisa Wong, Samuel Igwe and Emmanuella Owusu-Ansah are front and centre of the campaign to promote the ADcademy’s 2022 programme. The creative was developed by Keda Bamber, a 2020 graduate of Brixton Finishing School who is now working as an in-house designer, and Mother London.

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