The Ethnic Barrier : An exploratory study of the perception of ethnic diversity within investment banks in Sweden

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Sammanfattning: This paper aims to give an insight into how employees, with foreign backgrounds, at investment banks in Sweden perceive the industry with respect to ethnic diversity. Furthermore, it intends to investigate how employees within investment banks believe ethnic diversity can be improved with a focus on the recruitment process. The study uses grounded theory as a methodological approach to propel this equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) research beyond the dominant understanding of the organizations. Furthermore, to collect data, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants, of which seven of them had a foreign background. According to the findings of this paper, the perception of the industry is that there is a lack of ethnic diversity within the Swedish investment banking industry. Furthermore, the study found that the investment banker’s perceptions are that; there is a lack of relatable role models, a lack of relevant educational background among people with a foreign background, inequality regimes in the industry, and prevalent nepotism and network-based recruitment. The latter two reproduce ethnosociality, where the dominant group gets an advantage, and the minority gets excluded, in this case, people with a foreign background. Furthermore, when the interviewees were asked what may be done to increase ethnic diversity, they came up with ten different solutions, some of which contradicted one other and some concurring. This paper concludes that companies need to play an active role and take responsibility and put as much focus on ethnic diversity as gender diversity.

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