Quarter of Londoners change accents to help career, study shows

In a study conducted, it has been revealed that a quarter of Londoners have changed their accents to help climb the career ladder as they are pressured to modify their accents.

Equality Group, which specialises in diversity in the workplace, said 26 per cent of people living in the capital had changed the way they speak to be more like the “Queen’s English”.

The figure includes both newcomers and Londoners with a “Cockney” accent who have adapted to fit the corporate world.

The survey found 21 per cent of Londoners thought their class and background had been a professional disadvantage, and 12 per cent said they would never disclose where they had grown up.

Some 55 per cent of people across the UK thought London was the most judgmental place when it came to regional accents.

Equality Group — a consultancy that helps businesses attract, develop and retain diverse talent — surveyed 2,000 people, including 300 from the capital, about their workplace attitudes.

Chelsea King, 28, who grew up in Nottingham before moving to London last year to be a consultant with Kin & Co, said there was pressure on newcomers to modify their accents to ensure they did not stand out.

Hephzi Pemberton, founder of Equality Group, urged businesses to place more emphasis on qualifications. She said: “Employees should be proud of their backgrounds and their professional environments should value their diversity of experience and thought, not dampen it

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