30% Club launches Students’ Aspiration Survey

Survey aims to reveal how women’s university experiences affect their motivation and ability to get ahead in their career

London, 13 January 2015 – The 30% Club has today launched the Students’ Aspiration Survey. The survey, the first of its kind, is intended to provide insight into how students aged 18-25, particularly women, feel their university experiences shape and influence their aspirations for the future.

The Students’ Aspiration Survey was inspired by Opportunity Now’s recent ‘Project 28-40’ study which polled 23,000 women and 2,000 men on their experiences of workplace cultures and their personal views of how career ambition fits in with their other life goals. The Students’ Aspiration Survey will poll younger people on a range of issues including university culture and career support to determine how big a part their university years play in influencing their life decisions and hopes for the future.

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and Founder of the 30% Club, said: “I’m delighted that we are launching this survey, the brainchild of Helena Eccles who’s an undergraduate at Cambridge. Her experiences both as a student and during her first work placement have helped inform the questions being asked and to ensure they are entirely relevant to current students.

“As we seek to continually improve the diagnosis of why fewer women make it to the top in their careers, we need to know what their expectations are at the start. I hope that the survey will be rolled out in due course to a diverse range of universities and business schools.”

Helena Eccles, Founder of The Students’ Aspiration Survey, said: “We are conducting the Students’ Aspiration Survey because we want to make sure that women, some of the very best talent in the country, can fulfil their potential no matter what their aspirations might be. The challenges women face in the workplace are being addressed, but as a female undergraduate I can see that there is a pressing need for action in the student domain. The Students’ Aspiration Survey will give us a new insight into the university experience and provide us with the information necessary to make a student’s transition from university to life after graduation as supported as possible.”

The survey, hosted by KPMG, also assesses what students hold to be the top priorities in life, whether it is to get a good degree, find a job they enjoy, have a family etc. It also questions how achievable students perceive their ambitions to be and asks students to rank factors such as salary and work/life balance in order of importance.

Melanie Richards, KPMG UK Vice Chairman and a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee said “KPMG is delighted to be working with the 30% Club in supporting this important initiative. Helena Eccles is to be commended on her efforts to both get this survey off the ground, but more importantly to start to take action within the student community to support women as they transition into the workplace.”

The survey is being piloted at the University of Cambridge. The initial results of the pilot will be announced at the University of Cambridge’s Delivering Equality Summit on 9 March 2015, with the aim of rolling the survey out to other universities later this year.

The survey is available at www.30percentclub.org/survey and will run until 13 February 2015.

For more information, please contact:
Jamie Brookes, MHP Communications +44 20 3128 8529/07872 866 221
Georgina Whittle, MHP Communications +44 203 128 8528


Francoise Higson, Newton Investment Management