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The importance of social mobility and who’s getting it right

Category: Industry News

Social Mobility Employer Index 2017 Top 50 logo with Social Mobility Foundation, Social Mobility Commission and City of London logos

Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society. It is the opportunity for those from underprivileged backgrounds to break the boundary of their social class.

A recent survey by Deloitte found that only 36 per cent of millennials think they will be financially better off than their parents and only 31 per cent think they will be happier. The survey found that income inequality was one of the biggest concerns for millennials, which is backed up with the findings that those from low-income backgrounds earn, on average, 10 per cent less than their most advantaged peers six months after graduating from the same subject. The UK is one of the worst countries for social mobility, meaning that there is little chance that an individual from a low-income background will receive the same opportunities as someone from a higher class – regardless of their hard work or talents.

These figures are concerning and emphasise the importance for UK companies to encourage social mobility and combat unconscious bias. Breaking down these barriers and levelling the playing field allows for greater diversity of thought within an organisation, which has been proven to enable the attainment of business goals and bring new, and better, ideas on how to achieve success.

How can you support social mobility?

There are many ways that these challenges for underprivileged young people can be overcome – but it starts with you. As an employer, it is your responsibility to present yourself as choosing talent over background, race, gender or sexual orientation.

In the context of social mobility, this involves the introduction of apprenticeships for those unable to attend university; and graduate schemes that provide a minimum of a living wage and/or accommodation allowance to enable those from lower income families to support themselves.

Unconscious bias training can be provided for managers and recruitment teams to ensure that everyone is given a fair chance, such as contextualising a person’s achievements and level of skill. This kind of training is intended to recognise an individual for their potential and merits rather than their circumstances. Blind interviews and screening of CVs can aid this practise by cancelling out any preconception of a person by their name, age or location.

You can also foster a culture of acceptance by reaching out to schools, universities and communities to promote your values and programmes in place. As well as signing up to sites like Vercida.com where we can advertise these opportunities for you, connecting you with those who value difference.

Social Mobility Employer Index Top 50 2017

The Social Mobility Employer Index Top 50 was revealed earlier last week and featured a number of our members who are practising good social mobility policies. The list was compiled by the Social Mobility Foundation, Social Mobility Commission and the City of London Corporation, from a submission by over 100 companies from 17 different sectors. They were assessed on their practises concerning young people, recruitment, selection and progression, and will receive a review with a guide to future improvements.

Just under one in five companies set social mobility as a priority and of those who submitted applications, it was discovered that they performed well in recruiting young talent but fell short on progressing individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

David Johnson, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation commented, “While no one company has cracked the issue and there is still progress to be made, they should be congratulated both for having prioritised social mobility and for being prepared to have their processes and practises independently scrutinised.”

Here is a list of our members and where they ranked in the top 50:

7. PwC

22. Lloyds Banking Group

23. EDF Energy

28. BBC

29. Eversheds Sutherland

33. Barclays

41. Bank of England

49. Department for Education

To find out more about these employers, please click on their names.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

Vercida logo

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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