The French Army was famous for the levels of social mobility it allowed (for a given value thereof, let's not imagine for a moment that it wasn't a hard organisation be in), whilst conversely the British Army was infamously rigid. The French Army was better at recognizing good work and promotion was geared more towards competence than the British.More or less what Wellington said before Waterloo.
But in the end Wellingtons attitude was fairer and more benign.
Even as a competent officer, advancement was exceptionally slow, even when the regiment took grievous casualties, if you were an officer of limited means because of the purchase system.
George Simmons for instance, a Lieutenant in the 95th, spent well in excess of a decade in post because he kept being passed over, even though a demonstrably excellent officer with a lot of battle experience.
Paternalism in the British Army is an Edwardian concept. Wellington was a great general, but I doubt many would describe him as benign.